Since March 2000, The London Eye has become an iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain. The London Eye is the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction, visited by over 3 million people a year. The London Eye is the vision of David Marks and Julia Barfield, a husband and wife architect team. The wheel design was used as a metaphor for the end of the 20th century, and time turning into the new millennium.
A stakeholder is any individual or organisation that is affected by the activities of a business. They may have a direct or indirect interest in the business, and may be in contact with the business on a daily basis, or may just occasionally. The project of the London Eye had many stakeholders investing interest in the project but there were also a lot of key stakeholders who were a subset of the overall stakeholders who had power to prevent the project from achieving its full set of objectives and potentially causing the project to fail along the way.
Shareholders interested in their dividends and capital growth of their shares. (British Airways) Company Management and Employees whom may also be shareholders but are more interested in their job security, prospects and pay. Customers and suppliers (Tussauds Group, Mace LTD, Poma LTD, Hollandia) Banks and other financial organisations lending money to the project. Government & Local Councils – in particular the Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise who would be collecting tax from the project. (Lambeth Council) Trade Unions representing the interests of the workers involved with the project. Pressure Groups – interested in whether the project was acting appropriately towards their area of interest. (E.G Basque Environmental Groups)
INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS (part of the business) - Employees - Managers - Directors EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS (outside the business) - Shareholders (who dont work in the business) - Local community - Customers - Suppliers - Government - Press / Media Groups - Public Authorities
- Managers - Project tasks completed without conflict and delays & growth and expansion.- Directors - Good return on investment and Profit Maximisation and good publicity and competitive advantage over rivals.- Employee - Fair pay and working conditions.- Shareholder - Good return on investment- Supplier - Regular business and prompt payment- Customer - Fair price and safe product- Local community - Jobs and minimum disruption- Government - Employment for local community- Environment / Focus Groups - Less pollution and congestion and environmental disruption to local wildlife and habitats
Social responsibility for one group can conflict with other groups, especially between shareholders and stakeholders as seen with the London Eye. Some of the conflicts during the project arose because the shareholders want short-term profits, whilst the other stakeholders’ desires tend to cost money and reduce profits. The company (BA) owners also had to balance their own wishes against those of the other stakeholders or risk losing their ability to generate future profits (e.g. workers going on strike or customers refusing to buy the company’s product or service due to constant health fears).
The objective of the strikers of the Basque environmental group were in relation to the disposal of waste safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. This also includes the construction of the London Eye parts – capsules, cables, wheel rims etc without affecting the local environment where manufactured in foreign countries and their surrounding habitats without affecting BA’s objective to trade fairly with developing countries. Lambeth Councils sponsoring local charity events to ensure community relations do not become strained.
To ensure a completed project – as PM one needs to follow the following steps to ensure success: Identify all costs and benefits using the principle of opportunity cost. Measure the benefits and costs using money as a unit of account Consider the likelihood of the cost or benefit occurring (i.e. sensitivity analysis) Take account of the timing of the cost and benefit.
Consider Private Costs e.g. construction costs, operating costs and maintenance costs do not get beyond control. External Costs i.e. costs incurred by non users (a) monetary e.g. loss of profits to competitors e.g. to ferry owner for shipping construction parts over continents and (b) non monetary e.g. noise, loss of countryside or local environment, inconvenience to local residents and businesses. Private benefits (a) direct the amount consumers are prepared to pay e.g. the tolls paid, parking fees (b) indirect i.e. consumer surplus . External benefits i.e. benefits to non users e.g. consumer surplus of users; time savings for travellers and fewer accidents on site during and after construction – maintain effective repairs throughout usage of service.
Delivering ‘on-time and on-budget’ to appease stakeholders, , finishing first or achieving the planned objective; but achievement on its own does not translate to success. The Project is only Successful when the achievement is acknowledged by ones key stakeholders and they declare it a ‘success’.
When the project seemed doomed to certain to fall down because of lack of funds, it seemed that the media publicity was, in the end, a key part of reviving the project from failure. British Airways stepped in, formed a partnership with Marks Barfield, and managed to provide the loans needed to kick-start the project into the last stages of its eventual completion.
The London Eye has had its fair of problems – even upon completion. As with all the Millennium projects, it suffered a major setback. One of the cables had worked itself loose, and the raise had to be halted, leaving the wheel at a seemingly precarious angle of 35° over the river.
The Project hit by crisis after crisis has over the past years ranked not only as one of Londons top attractions, but also one of Britains top attractions despite having until a few years ago temporary planning permission. But Leaving its troubled past behind it, its future is more or less guaranteed, and its permanent status assured, which means the London Eye is a refined, inconspicuous structure, sitting neatly on the South Bank, next to Westminster Bridge, casting a delicate shadow over the Houses of Parliament. After being built in the short time span of 16 months, an almost non-project which seemed so destined to fail miserably has provided London with its fourth tallest structure and a brand new landmark, which has been, to the surprise and delight of many, accepted by the public and beaten the expectations of many.
The London Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or the upper class, but everybody. Thats the beauty of it: it is public and accessible, and it is in a great position at the heart of London – debt free and its long term future secured.