Road to hell

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  • Publicado : 1 de febrero de 2011
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Hypotheses about why Mr. Baker behaved as he did
Recently during a casual reading of J. McDowell’s articles, I came across an interesting description of what constitutes an individual’s behavior. It is said, that an individual’s beliefs are like an iceberg. The top of the iceberg is the behavior of the individual “what is clearly visible to all”, but somewhat hidden underneath as in the case ofthe iceberg lies the largest piece of this human puzzle “peoples’ values”. In summary, people’s values drive people’s behavior, but we cannot see those values so easily unless we really take a deep look at understanding how this they got where they are and sometimes it takes a sudden crash like it happen to the Titanic ship to realize that those values are almost unmovable and yet the main reasonfor some unexplained behaviors that we see in the surface.
With that being said my hypothesis of Baker’s behavior lie in his beliefs and recollections from past experiences through formal and/or informal education.
Baker being a seasoned European expatriate with a significant experience of more than 23 years of work experience working in “developing countries” (see Appendix) had a strong beliefthat he had “an innate knack” on how to get on with regional staff. This belief had him convinced that he could lead the interview by using “the plus and minus technique” that previously had worked between him and one of his former managers back in Germany.
Other very important beliefs which might explain why Baker behaved as he did during the interview, had to do with Baker’s perceptions ofRennall as beign : i) a racially conscious individual, ii) sensitive to any signs of condescension and iii) politically influenced as well as ambitious. Moreover Baker’s statement about his ancestors being experts in commerce of (200+ yrs) and himself being raised in such environment had lead him to believe that the Barracanians were just learning from other “superior” foreign cultures. Although thislast message could have been delivered with best intentions it just was perceived almost as an insult, if we judge by the reaction of Rennall’s later.
Finally but equally important Baker had been feeling a constant frustration as although he managed to sustain a good relationship with M. Rennall, he had one recurring thought bothering him, which was not being able to defeat the invisible“screen” between himself and Rennall that never lead them be open about discussing about this problem which we later discovered through the thoughts and claims made by Rennall in his letter.
Imagine you are Mr. Hutchins the Production Manager who is the direct boss of baker and Rennalls in Barracania. You are also white and expatriate. It is 9 a.m on Friday and you have just found a copy of Mr. Rennalls’memorandum on your desk. You know that Mr. Baker is scheduled to leave for Canada on Monday morning. What should you do? Describe briefly and in sequence your plan.
1. First of all, I would be realizing that this letter of resignation was a clear indication that the assignment I had given Baker had failed. The successor had now resigned, so the “grooming” plan went really bad. I would bethinking that unless I act fast and come up with a quick action plan, I can lose a very good potential manager, since after all, the idea of keeping him is still valid as ever.
2. Immediately call Baker and ask him to meet with me as soon as possible, avoiding disclosing the resignation issue on the phone, but making sure he understood it was a very important matter that required immediateattention.
3. Call Keso Mining Corporation to let them know that Baker’s arrival might have to be delayed for a week. (Just in case we need a whole week to resolve this complex issue). This step is important to demonstrate that you respect the other affiliate’s business. In real life it’s not always simple to keep people in one place after they have been given the transfer green light and...
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