Eurotunnel: Eyes Wide Shut

Published 28 Apr 2008
Reference 5288
Topic Operations
Region Europe
Summary

Through the example of the high-profile Eurotunnel project, the case shows how important contracts and agreements are in project management. Seen through a retrospective lens, it allows students to analyse the relative contributions of market uncertainty, technical uncertainty, and behaviour alignment through contracts, to the performance problems of the effort to construct the first-ever undersea rail link between France and the UK.

Teaching objectives

This case allows the instructor to: 1) Demonstrate the relative contribution of uncertainty (both in the market and the technology) and of behaviour alignment through contracts to project performance. 2)Outline a broader view of behaviour alignment than merely through contracts (based on the discussion). 3) Show that the effect of contracts on project performance is an important aspect of project management. 4) Illustrate the difficulties of pulling the plug on a project once it has started.

Keywords
  • Project Management
  • Partnerships
  • Project Contracts
  • Public Projects