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Human Resource Strategies for the International Manager

Executive Summary

The first part of the context is mainly about the Songdo-Toronto link developmental project. The context has critically explored the two main leadership theories which are transformational leadership and pacesetting leadership theory. In the other part, the recommendations have also been provided to address the issues that would be identified throughout the context. In the final part, the main argument based on the key findings has been properly summarized in key detail. It has been found that the cultural factors in the leadership, motivation and communication areas within the human resource management affect the employee performance to a huge extent. It is because the implementation of these factors fosters greater innovation practices and enables a broader alignment of the employee’s interest with the organizational goals. Furthermore, these cultural attributes have been perceived to be culturally contingent. To improve the communication process, the leadership must facilitate detailed insights about the 3D printing technology and its use on the overall project. There is a huge need for the project management leaders to identify the “migraine-inducing improvement areas” and to work upon them which can benefit the entire team. The implementation of Six Sigma can positively help to increase the efficiency in the developmental project and to reduce the project risks to a large extent.


This report is all about developing a project which links the smart city of Toronto in China and Shenzhen in China. The overall purpose of the project is to provide some key valuable insights about the concept of smart city with the Songdo project that has been initiated in South Korea. The analysis of the human resource development theories such as the theories of leadership, communication, and motivation will also be done throughout the context. The context will critically explore two main leadership theories which are transformational leadership and pacesetting leadership theory. In the other part, the recommendations would also be provided to address the issues that would be identified throughout the context. In the final part, the main argument based on the key findings will be properly summarized in a key detail.

This context which is about providing a report on ‘Recruitment for the smart city project based on key HRM areas: leadership, motivation and communication’ has been extremely important to consider as the development project of the smart city enables high economic growth which can further improve the quality of living standards to a huge extent. The smart city is a framework that is composed of information and communication technologies (ICT) to deploy develop and promote sustainable development practices to address the challenges faced through the phases of urbanization (Kark, Van Dijk and Vashdi, 2018, p.148). In addition to this, there are key elements that are involved in the development of a smart city which are appropriate water supply, assured electricity supply, and high efficiency in urban mobility with efficient public transportation.

Songdo International business city in South Korea is a broad example of a new city that brought together world-class technologies, building the design architectures and developing more sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the smart city to create the highest standard of living for the people (Yigitcanlar et al., 2019, p.104187). Also, some key cultural factors differentiate Songdo in South Korea from Toronto in Canada out of which proper sanitation and waste management systems in Songdo have been facilitated by the internet of things (IoT) technology. Also, the cultural diversity in Songdo is much broader compared to Toronto which enables the people to go together and it selectively enhances the effects of globalization.

Stating in key detail, people in Songdo support religious freedom through which the people out there believe in the ancestral spirits and other Confucian rituals. With regard to HRM, most people in Songdo speak South Korean language and compared to people in Toronto, they are found to be uncomfortable to use English language in the business environment. On the other hand, Toronto has some unique cultural factors which state that the culture over there is multicultural and more nationalist who values high respects white American and Canadian people. The people in Canada has considers individualistic approach whereas the South Korean people follows non individualism approach. These cultural factors can be backed by the theory of ‘functionality’ which implies that all parameters of society such as the institutions, norms, roles serve a common purpose which is indispensable for the long-term development of any society (Kovalev et al., 2021, p050002). In South Korea, the people are more tend to value the well group of the people and the hiring and buying decision are influenced by the well-being of the people.

Analysis of leadership

Within the context of smart city placement, smart leadership is the type of leadership that is needed to deal with the complexities of the smart city ecosystem with its culture. Smart leadership facilitates the strategic collaboration, strategic thinking process, which can foresight the alliances and partnerships with the business stakeholders. The smart leadership area within human resource management (HRM) needs to be distributed and developed within the workforce. In this case, the leaders need to opt for a servant leadership approach in which the leaders must share the control of authority with the employees and can embrace the professional growth of each employee (Kuecker and Hartley, 2020, p.520). It is because there is a major issue for the lack of participatory decision-making in the project management activities. These leadership skills are crucial in the development of smart city projects in which the sustainability and success of the initiatives majorly depend on the power distribution approach among the business stakeholders.

Concerning the smart leadership approach, there are two key leadership theories used in the HRM portfolio of smart city placement which is the transformational and pacesetting leadership. Transformational leadership is defined as a theory that describes the change within a team in which the transformational leader closely works with the employees to identify the improvement areas and to support them in the identification of their best potential. The cultural factors within transformational leadership include foresight, strong will to motivate the organizational staff along building confidence in the employee’s personality (Madakam and Holmukhe, 2019, p.298). It has been found that these cultural factors affect employee performance to a huge extent as the implementation of these factors fosters greater innovation practices and enables a broader alignment of the employee’s interest with the organizational goals. Furthermore, these cultural attributes have been perceived to be culturally contingent.

The pacesetting leadership, on the other hand, is majorly focused to let the employees achieve high levels of commitment and results such as meeting deadlines on a smart city project in the shortest period available. This is a type of leadership that can be used in the smart city placement when the leader can lead up from the front level and can set high standards for the team to work with their best efforts (Rugkhapan and Murray, 2019, p.279). Moreover, the cultural factors within transactional leadership include communicativeness, dynamic presence of the employee-employer relations, and positive attitude of both the employer and employees towards the attainment of the organizational goals. These cultural factors are improving the gestures, sense of humor, and intonation of the project team members that potentially contribute to the outstanding leadership within the pacesetting approach.

These two theories are important to consider to counter the issues that can originate in the implementation of the smart city project of Songdo and Toronto such as the threats posed by the security and hackers, educating the community, and making the people socially inclusive. The transformational and pacesetting leadership of the Songdo – Toronto smart city link developmental project can be extremely helpful to increase the efficiency of the overall smart city developmental project (Madakam and Holmukhe, 2019, p.282). It is because the major issue for the lack of efficiency implies that transformational and transactional leadership must be ethically considered. Taking these statements into consideration, it can be said that the leadership approach broadly helps to increase the effectiveness of the project performance as it is connected well to the job satisfaction of the employees. This is further linked to the interpersonal behavior, communication, and motivation for each employee to evaluate the project performance. Based on the statements claimed by Haveman and Wetts (2019, p.11673), it has been stated that the global people increases the efficiency in the recruitment process when the candidates are flexible to follow both the transformational and pacesetting approach of leadership.


Transformational leadership must be incorporated in the workplace to attain the long-term goal of the Songdo-Toronto link developmental project. To implement this, the project managers or the concerned authorities must create a proper organizational culture by upbringing a collaborative environment in which the project team members can evaluate their work performance and can prosper innovation in the workplace. The project managers or the transformational leaders in the Songdo-Toronto link developmental project can use the “Bernard Bass full range leadership model” to incorporate the suitable organizational culture which can facilitate maximum innovation and creativity over a long period (Kovalev et al., 2021, p050002). Speaking in detail, the leader must idealize influence in which the organizational leaders can promote the larger vision and overall sense of belonging to the employees. The leader then needs to inspire motivation by understanding the employee’s collective interests and intellectual stimulation. Moreover, the candidates need to have flexible approach to lead the people through pacesetting and transformational leadership approaches.

Analysis of motivation

Within the context of smart city placement, the theory of planned behavior has become a well-known motivational theory that predicts a person’s individual intends to engage in the behavior at a specific place and time. This motivational theory states that behavioral achievement depends on the motivation and ability of the individual characteristics. It certainly differentiates among 3 core types of beliefs which are normative, behavioral, and control. The theory of planned behavior maintains the core elements of attitude, assumed behavioral control along with the other subjective norms (Desouza et al., 2020, p.23). It becomes extremely important for the project managers to consider this theory as it can help to understand the major motivations behind people performing particular tasks. It has been found that issues in the understanding of human psychology lead to a rise in project management conflicts and this is where the theory of planned behavior comes in.

Vroom’s expectancy theory is another major motivational theory which is one of the most profound theories used in civil infrastructure projects. In that case, this motivational theory can further strengthen the cooperation among the employees. It is based on the cognitive process theory of motivation which states that people can be motivated to work when the employees can believe that there are relationships between the efforts in which they put forth the performance that they have achieved along with the potential rewards. The key constructs in this Vroom’s expectancy theory are valence, expectancy, and instrumentality (Bashynska and Dyskina, 2018, p.237). Valence implies the strength which the employee acquires at one place whereas expectancy directs the efforts based on the performance. On the other hand, instrumentality relates to the belief that performance can be related to both monetary and non-monetary rewards.

These two crucial motivation theories can be successfully performed by effective communication and listening skills. These are important to consider by first framing a clear vision of the future. For the developmental project of the Songdo – Toronto infrastructure link, the project budget, project risk, and communication measures must be undertaken throughout which the innovation and key project management activities can take place.

Throughout the context, some major issues have been identified out of which the project managers must predict the dependent and rational decision-making styles and also must predict the intuitive and spontaneous decision-making approaches with the avoidant decision-making styles. This eventually eliminates the issue of inactive participatory decision-making approaches over the period. These motivational theories can enable the leaders of the Songdo – Toronto smart city link developmental project to strengthen the cooperation among the project team members by incorporating a shared vision for the future to stimulate locomotion (Siangchokyoo, Klinger and Campion, 2020, p.101341). For instance, the leaders must actively involve the overall team to take part in the decision-making process. This would eventually increase the motivation level for the employees and would ensure better coordination in teamwork within the workplace.

On the other hand, the major issue for lack of understanding of human psychology is a huge concern as discussed well in the above context. To counter this, the project managers or project leaders must understand the needs of the employees which can be the first step to understand the psychology and their impact on project performance. For this consideration, the cultural factors within the two mentioned motivation theories include the establishment of an environment of openness in which the team members can freely express their views, working in high performing culture and salary structure to identify the implicit assumptions that have a consequent impact on the employee’s work quality.

Financial development or providing monetary rewards to the employees is one of the top cultural factors which affect the motivational level of the employees (Kotamena, Senjaya and Prasetya, 2020, p.39). The top global organizations thereby provide better opportunities for the employees to cover the professional development. This is done by assigning the employees competitive tasks and allowing them to communicate with the stakeholders and other clients to grow self-esteem and network.


With a better understanding of human psychology, the managers of the Songdo – Toronto smart city link developmental project can start one-to-one conversations which are one of the best ways for the leaders to thrive and strengthen the relationships. In that case, more and more people can spend more time on hearing and providing individual feedback as well as work on the improvement of their performance as well. Apart from that, using social proof is another great way through which the project management leaders of Songdo – Toronto smart city link developmental project can motivate the teams and demonstrate the good performance of the people (Asbari, 2020, p.53). Moreover, the leaders can use the principle of reciprocity in which the leaders can provide something of value and in return, the leaders can get some aspect of value from the team members. It is a small but powerful technique to understand the psychology and elevate the level of motivation for all the project management members and employees.

Analysis of communication

Organizational communication is considered to be a two-way process that involves the top-down dissemination of the human resource (HR) plans along with getting feedback from the bottom level to the top tier level of the organization. Organizational communication is an integral part of human resource management as it can be used to communicate effectively among the internal and external stakeholders based on the working state of the project performance. However, 4 types of communication are more relevant to the project performance of the Songdo-Toronto developmental project. These are upward, downward, diagonal and horizontal modes of communication (Ma and Jiang, 2018, p.317). The upward level of communication is when the lower level of any organization can communicate with the upper levels of any organization. In downward communication, the higher-level employee within any organization communicates with the lower level of the organization. Through diagonal communication, interdepartmental communication takes place across the different levels of the organization. Apart from that, horizontal communication occurs among the same level of positions but in different departments of the organization

“Weber’s classical organizational theory of fixed structures” is a prominent theory in which the context holds that the companies have neatly defined the responsibility and accountability of the employees and thereby, the communication is structured. Following this approach, there cannot be any scope for confusion in the communication that will be shared between the top to bottom levels of the organization. This makes the organizations have rigid structures in which the individuals contribute to the defined roles and responsibilities. The analysis which is framed in this model provides a merit prominence with the way organizations can work to allocate based on the capabilities specified by the fixed notions of this theory (Kark, Van Dijk and Vashdi, 2018, p.207). To ensure effective communication within the project management or at the workplace, this theory recommends following the 6 principles of bureaucracy which are formalized rules, well-trained employees, specialization, hierarchical structure, management impartiality, and managerial dedication. This theory can address the common issues that may take place within the project management such as getting a lack of feedback, email overload, device chaos, and other language barriers to effective communication.

Deetz managerialism theory is another significant theory under organizational communication that defines the way organizational communication and organizational control take place within the organizational workplace. The strong argument of this theory illustrates that the fixed notions of the organizations can post a broader view of the democratic aspirations of the employees with the distributed power centers of employees within the organization. This makes a suitable combination to recognize the interests behind the organizational performance. This theory implies that organizational communication is merely a transmission of information that perpetuates managerialism and corporate colonization to a huge extent (Haveman and Wetts, 2019, p.12627). The Deetz managerialism theory aims to strike the balance between corporate and individual human interests. Speaking about the cultural factors which influence both the Deetz managerialism theory and Weber’s classical organizational theory of fixed structures, the core values of the employees, individual belief systems, and other behavior and attitudes deeply influence it to a large extent.

On the other hand, the underlying project of ‘Songdo-Toronto developmental project’ can take place considering the project stakeholders in the form of an urban mobile application. The use of communication and information technologies within the smart city project majorly facilitates open data over the web which is more accessible for the information technology (IT) system. Through the use of digital applications, the communication will take place in real-time and this can enable the internet voting system made by the people (Fligstein, 2021, p.494). However, the transactional communication model can work best to let the project team members know about the smart city mobile application can let the people know about the updated requirements of the people in the smart city developmental phase.


As the leaders need to encourage the employees to collaborate, the project managers or the respective authority heads must consider free-flowing exchange of ideas that can foster innovative solutions to a large extent. To work on this issue, the project management heads must employ the team members to get adequate feedback about the different types of technology that can be used to execute the Songdo – Toronto smart city link developmental project. For instance, the leadership must facilitate detailed insights about the 3D printing technology and its use on the overall project (Simonsson and Heide, 2021, p.261). There is a huge need for the project management leaders to identify the “migraine-inducing improvement areas” and to work upon them which can benefit the entire team. The implementation of Six Sigma can positively help to increase the efficiency in the developmental project and to reduce the project risks to a large extent.


The leadership, motivation, and communication aspects within the human resource management has been an important aspect to increase the efficiency of its project management activities as through these approaches, leaders can motivate the employees by increasing their self-efficacy by facilitating social engagement within the group by linking the organizational values with the employee’s interests. However, the leaders must be deliberately involved in pursuing a shared vision and guide the employees to take higher responsibility for the developmental project. It is backed by the statement that human resources are one of the most powerful assets of any organization and the actions must be consistent with the leader’s shared values and belief system. Secondly, the leaders must foster the transformation, implementation, and acquisition to assimilate and use tacit knowledge to generate a more sustainable competitive advantage to increase organizational performance. The transformational leaders must play a central role in setting up the directions, fulfillment of the Songdo-Toronto link developmental project goals, and ensuring progress through proper support and cooperation. This can further strengthen the communication among the project management stakeholders to a huge extent.


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