Globalization, competitiveness and international tourism
The purpose of constructing large edifices
What is the Millennium Dome?
Its physical features
Opening of the Millennium Dome
Sensitivity to stakeholders and the community
The definition of success
Dueto the ambitious purposes of the Millennium Dome and the eventualfinancial losses it incurred in only a few months after it was openedto the public, the Dome became subject of scorn among the Britishpeople and the media. With the large funding it had and the seeminglysuccessful construction of the edifice, it was a puzzle how theproject became a failure, as most critics have described it.
Withthe unexpected outcome of the project, ethical issues arise both onthe aspect of construction and on the public’s judgment on whatmakes a project successful or not. As to the side of the contractor,one of the ethical issues raised in the case of the Dome is whether aproject is considered successful only on the parameters of compliancewith time, budget and specification requirements. It has been arguedthat apart from the said elements, people factor is equally importantin that project managers should make sure that the stakeholders’preferences are always incorporated in the project. As to the publicjudgment, it was also argued that short-term judgment must not berelied upon in judging the success of a particular project.
EthicalIssues on the Millennium Dome (O2 Arena)
Inthe age of globalization where geographical borders are left withlittle significance, every country aims to be competitive in allfields in order to elevate their level of prestige in theinternational arena. Together with the collapsing of borders betweennations came the popularity of international events. These eventsbring together many people and host countries take advantage of thesein order to showcase their unique tourist spots.
Whatis the Millennium Dome?
TheMillennium Dome is among the largest domes in the world. On theoutside, its features are characterized by a huge white marqueecontaining twelve (12) towers that are designated to represent eachyear’s month and each hour in the clock that reflects thesignificance of the Greenwich Meridian Time. Due to its size, itbecame of the most distinguishable landmarks in the United Kingdom.The dome opened in the January 1, 2000 as a way of welcoming the newmillennium and the construction cost was estimated to a total of $1.5billion, financed mainly from public funding. Even though it wasconsidered as “Britain’s largest tourist attraction in 2000 with6.5 million visitors, it was labeled London’s ‘great whiteelephant’ for reaching only half of the originalgovernment-promised 12 million visitors.” After incurring financiallosses and in the absence of a contingency plan, it was closed by theend of the year 2000 [CITATION Dav p 237 l 1033 ].
Althoughthe Millennium Dome project was delivered on the agreed time, withinthe specified budget according to the specified scope, the projectwas nevertheless regarded as a failure. As such, one of the ethicalissues raised by the Millennium Dome project is whether delivery onthe agreed time, using the specified budget and in 100% compliancewith the project specifications are enough to consider a projectsuccessful. While the said elements are essentially important inconstruction, Lock (2007: 346) and Gardiner (2005: 132) suggestedthat another element must be added which is, the people factor. Assuch, the project should not only be regarded as a task that must becompleted for the sake of completion. Instead, a project manager alsohas the responsibility to know the political and cultural environmentin order to make sure that both the stakeholder community and projectorganisation’s needs are met [CITATION Bou05 p 160 l 1033 ].As such, the project serves a lesson for project managers thatdelivery of the project on time, using the agreed budget and based onthe specifications alone are not enough to make a project successfulas awareness of culture and stakeholders’ preferences are likewiseimportant.
Anotherethical issue that was raised in the construction of the said projectwas the propriety of labelling a particular project as unsuccessfulbased on initial revenue garnered alone. The dome became subject ofscorn media and the British public after it incurred losses. However,after it has been renamed into O2 arena, the project achievedpopularity and commercial success [CITATION Jen p 250 l 1033 ].This can be compared to the parallel events that marked the eventualsuccess of Sydney’s Opera House which at first,was likewise considered as “acoustic nightmare” and “whiteelephant” and afterwards revered as Sydney’s icon [CITATION Mar07 p 2 l 1033 ].Hence, the lesson taught by the Millennium Dome project is that it isnot right away correct to judge the success of a project based onlyon its initial ability to serve its purpose.
Bourne, D. L., 2007. Avoiding the Successful Failure. [Online] Available at: https://mosaicprojects.com.au/PDF_Papers/P046_Successful_Failure.pdf[Accessed 1 May 2014].
Bourne, L. & Walker, D., 2005. The Paradox of Project Control. Team Performance Management Journal, 11(5/6), pp. 157-187.
Carter, D., 2011. Money Games: Profiting from the Convergence of Sports and Entertainment. Stanford, California: Stanford Universit Press.
Gardiner, P. D., 2005. Project Management, A Strategic Planning Approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jennings, W., 2012. Crisis and Executive Politics. In: M. Lodge & K. Wegrich, eds. Executive Politics in Times of Crisis. 250 ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 239-263.
Lock, D., 2007. Project Management. 9th edition ed. New York: Gower Publishing Ltd..