MKT4102 Practitioner Perspectives

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Case Study – Eden Projects

Keywords: Sustainability, project management, brand development


The Eden Project has established a formidable example of architectural expertise enabling it to attract a substantial amount of tourists. The organization has progressed with the mission statement of promoting awareness related to responsible management of the interplay among people, plants, and the planet. The primary objective depicted by the Eden Project is the provision of a sustainable future for every individual on Earth. The innovation of the founder of the Eden Project, Tim Smit, and his capability for including a social identity approach to provide equal opportunities to every contributor in the Eden Project has been influential in the success of the project. The exploration of sustainable opportunities is a necessity for the Eden Project and the use of product differentiation has been considerably influential. However, the assessment of risks associated with a diversification strategy and the introduction of novel entities in the organizational framework could be evaluated through the identification of the essential elements of the project life cycle. The case study emphasizes the crucial decisions of the senior management at the Eden Project to introduce new products, concentrating efforts in distinct sectors of brand development, education, and research.


The Eden project signifies the outcome of innovation which turned a decaying china clay pit into a major tourist attraction. The other necessary advantage fulfilled by the organization is noticed in the learning environment which contributes to distinctly favorable outcomes such as gardening courses, community workshops, creative learning, teacher training, and visiting facilities for the school, college, and university students. Located in Cornwall, the Eden Project has capitalized on its exclusive architectural design to provide informal learning experiences to tourists alongside depicting ecological significance. The influence of Eden on the attitudes, behavior, and values of visitors has been considered a core competence of Eden’s project in reaching out to a broader audience. The Eden Project was officially opened on 17th March 2001 and the estimated cost of the project was £86 million (, 2017).

Marketing Strategy Development

The project garnered almost £43 million from the Millennium Commission and can be considered as a vital foundation for the establishment. The founder, Tim Smit, apprehended the opportunity to convert an economically depressed zone in Cornwall into a prominent attraction for tourists and the results could be reflected in the visitor count at the Eden project in the first and second years of its operation (Chesteen, 2014). In the first year, the Eden project was able to garner almost two million visitors, and in the following year, the visitor count was estimated to be above one and a half million. The Eden project had acquired almost £430 million in terms of additional income to the local economy of Cornwall by August 2003 (, 2017). The architectural structure of the project refers to the Biomes which could be promoted based on engineering and magnificent design (Heymann & Dar, 2014).

The biomes depict different environmental settings and nurturing of plants in humid tropic regions and warm temperate zones (Hauschild et al., 2013). The Millennium Commission also provided further grants to the organization which was estimated to be £10 million. Other institutes such as the South West Regional Development Agency and European Union’s Objective One program assisted in the form of £10 million and £13 million respectively. The grants were utilized for the institution of Waste Neutral Recycling Compound and Education Resource Center in 2004 (Heude et al., 2016).

Therefore it can be perceived that the Eden Project has considerable competencies in terms of capital support as well as capabilities for developing the appeal of the brand to tourists all over the world. The potential issues which could be defined in the case of the Eden project reflect the limited market in which the organization operates (Hauschild et al., 2013).  The sustainability of the organization could not be catered to by tourist visits solely and hence different prospects for developing alternatives that could help in ensuring that the brand is capable of continuing its operations for the long term. Brand development is also considered a formidable concern for the Eden project as it requires access to different customer segments such as students and individuals aware of organic products (Jackson, 2014).

The primary association of the organization with tourism activities has to be complemented by the development of other sectors such as research, education, production, and marketing. Brand development of the Eden project has to be addressed effectively to ensure promising aspects in the performance of online distribution of products related to home and living, plants and gardening, flowers and wildlife, and pets (Vitak et al., 2015).

Project management is essential for breaking down the problems faced by the organization and deriving appropriate suggestions to resolve the situation (Hauschild et al., 2013). The senior management of the organization has to assume potential strategies which could contribute to the sustainability of brand development outcomes.

The industry in which Eden project operates is the tourism industry and faces major competition from other tourist destinations in the UK. The markets in which the organization caters are distinctively characterized by the education sector and the inclusion of gifts and accessories sales through the brand’s website also indicates a different market (Perera, 2014). The customers of the organization primarily include students, tourists, and the customers of the online gift shop of the organization. The country in which the Eden project presently operates is the UK (Williamson & Yin, 2014).

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The origin of the business issues of the Eden project can be related to the increasing saturation of the market of tourism and limited prospects for sustainability. The market conditions would not be supportive of the organization which largely relies on tourism for its revenue (Yu et al., 2014). Furthermore, the contemporary business scenario requires Eden project to capitalize on its potential core competencies and obtain a substantial competitive advantage. Therefore, it has to evolve from an educational charity organization into a renowned brand (Perera, 2014).

Different aspects of these mentioned issues are also considered as the result of the primary emphasis of the organization on tourism and education. The organization needs to recognize the distinct needs of different customer segments and develop cognizable strategies to address each problem. The impact of action triggers can be considered as initiators for reflecting on the causes of the business problems (Rodriguez et al., 2013).

Minimal market reach can also be considered as a major setback in the brand development initiatives of the organization. The case study of the Eden Project can be subject to an evaluation of the Project life cycle comprising distinct stages such as conceptualization, planning, implementation, and closure (Zabel et al., 2015).

Project life cycle:

The use of the project life cycle for defining the specific business issues identified in the case of the Eden Project is imperative and comprises of four distinct stages. The individual stages are associated with outcomes that can illustrate the sustainability and brand development issues for the Eden Project. The organization has to conceptualize the issues by obtaining a formal impression of the issues, the nature of the impact, and the sources of the issues (, 2017).


The first stage of the project lifecycle for addressing the business problems faced by the Eden Project refers to conceptualization. Sustainability can be defined as the continued operations of an organization in a market environment and is generally acquired through strategic change according to the business environment (Stark, 2015). The nature of the Eden Project organization is a social enterprise and hence it has to cater to the environmental and social requirements (Vitak et al., 2015). Therefore, the sustainability of the organization could be put into question since educational charity grants could not provide adequate support for the organization to sustain its activities.

The business issue referring to the lack of sustainability indicates that diversification of the applications in the organization such as education; online product sales and tourism could be presented as a viable solution. The business issue of brand development is considered detrimental since brand development serves as a motivator for the sustainability of an organization and can be considered a potential resource for marketing (Rüegg et al., 2014). Brand development is necessary for associating customers with the brand name and thereby ensures customer support for the brand. The brand development of the Eden Project can render favorable outcomes such as increased revenue from distinct areas of the organization’s activities other than the tourism aspect. Strategic management plays a considerable role in brand development and the essential requirements for accomplishing brand development objectives such as brand recognition and customer loyalty (Jackson, 2014).

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The second stage of the project life cycle refers to planning for the resolution of the identified business issues in the case study. Planning comprises of evaluation of risks, estimation of objectives, and the work breakdown structure for accomplishing the defined objectives of the project (Heude et al., 2016). The project objectives include the induction of prolific strategies to accomplish the sustainability of operations. First of all, the organization has to obtain a comprehensive market research report and identify the sources of grants as well as the revenues acquired by the organization.

The areas of improvement which are conclusively required for the sustainability of the organization could be apprehended from the review. The introduction of adequate strategies to acquire financial support for obtaining the defined objectives can be considered as another objective for enabling sustainability (Perera, 2014). Strategic business development of the Eden Project in unison with change management can be regarded as an objective in the project for the resolution of business issues about sustainability. The association of the organization with a social environment and performing activities for environmental protection can be considered a project objective (Heymann & Dar, 2014).

The business issue of brand development also requires being addressed by the objective of developing the brand according to the preferences of target customers. The target customers for the brand include individuals who associate with the environment and therefore they are prone to buy products of organic nature and their interests in apprehending global diversity in climates and the relevant impact on plantations also serve as prominent objectives (Heude et al., 2016). The Eden Project’s brand development initiatives have to be complemented by instilling the organization’s values and behavior in customers and thereby acquiring the required levels of customer loyalty (Liu et al., 2014).

The next objective for the resolution of the brand development issue of the Eden Project is reflected in the use of social media for the online promotion of the brand. The Internet serves as one of the primary channels of communication in the contemporary world and is used by a huge population of individuals which increases its reach (Vitak et al., 2015). Therefore, using the internet to communicate with potential customers and enthusiasts as well as the formation of online communities to propagate organizational information effectively can be anointed as a formidable objective to solve the business issue of brand development.

The planning stage of the project lifecycle is also indicative of the risks which could be associated with the defined objectives and activities for accomplishing them. The risks of objectives specified for the sustainability issue of the Eden Project indicate the leveraging of short-term goals for long-term opportunities among which the former holds higher emphasis. Presently the organization acquires adequate revenue from the tourism aspect and to develop sustainability of the business the organization must specifically concentrate on less-improving areas of the organization (, 2017). This could lead to slack in the tourism aspect of the organization which contributes a major share of revenue. Potential risks also include references to the responsiveness of employees to the changes which are required for inducing sustainability.

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The relevant strategies implemented for the acquisition of sustainability such as association with social and environmental causes could prove to be questionable from distinct social perspectives (Hauschild et al., 2013). Therefore the efficiency of the strategies in specific social settings can be considered as the profound risk associated with the objectives of resolving sustainability issues (Heymann & Dar, 2014). The objectives for addressing the brand development business issues of the Eden Project are also characterized by risks such as dependency on the internet as a source for marketing the brand and taking it closer to the audience.

Another potential risk that can be associated with the objective includes the conversion of visitors and followers of the online platforms of communication into actual customers. The brand development objectives are also vulnerable to the impact of emphasis on tourism and environmental concerns of the company rather than emphasizing the products which could attract the attention of a wide range of customers.


The implementation stage is concerned with the decisions made by the senior management of the Eden Project i.e. the Eden Trust in response to the outcomes of the planning stage. The necessary decisions implemented in response to the issues of sustainability include the financial support for the promotion of CSR activities and this would enable recognition of the organization’s values on a global platform (Heude et al., 2016).

The decisions taken by the senior management for addressing brand development objectives include the statement of online advertising campaigns particularly on social media (Hertwich et al., 2015). The reforms in terms of strategy also serve as viable indicators of decisions such as the introduction of a branding and public relations department in the organization. The efficiency of branding strategies followed by the organization can be enhanced through the depiction of the organization of the advertising activities as a representative of environmental protection and satisfaction of social causes.


The closure is obtained in the project through a review of the performance objectives of the project and an evaluation of the outcomes compared to predefined objectives. The use of monitoring and documentation enables tracking of the progress of the objectives and this enables the effective realization of actual outcomes in response to specific business issues (Hauschild et al., 2013).

The case study of the Eden Project and the perceived issues could also be subjected to reiteration in the project life cycle which reflects on the accomplishment of plausible outcomes from the project.

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  1. How does the strategic intention of the Eden Project to ensure sustainability be associated with objectives of higher profitability?


The different concerns associated with the Eden Project are characterized by the prominence of the requirement for sustainability. The organization has identified the need for sustainability since it has to expand its market share and understand the requirement of sustainability to acquire higher profits. The Eden project serves as an educational charity with social causes and the nature of the organization as a social enterprise is primarily considered as one of the triggers for considering opportunities that could ensure long-term operations of the company. Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry and is concerned with promising alternatives for organizations. The Eden project derives its competence from the architectural design which is unique and therefore tends to fascinate numerous tourists which adds to the annual revenues of the company. The progressive development of the appeal for observing biodiversity along with architectural magnificence in the tourism industry allows prolific opportunities for the Eden Project to succeed (Heude et al., 2016). The environmental footprint of the organization is noticed in the outcomes of the various activities of the organization. The influx of tourists was responsible for increasing the waste and littering which is a detrimental impact on the local environment. The association of an organization with social responsibilities is also considered a vital ingredient for ensuring sustainability and the Eden project recognizes the significance of environmental protection and interaction in community activities (, 2017).

Therefore, the Eden Project has to align the strategic intention with essential elements for acquiring higher efficiency in sustainable business practices. The capabilities of individual team members and core competencies based on team roles signify the support which could be provided for the strategic direction of the organization in response to the need for sustainability. Identification of distinct project life cycles implemented for the resolution of potential problems for sustainability provides an impression of the particular entities which could reflect on risks of engaging in strategic business management along the objective of sustainable practices to increase profitability. The Eden project has to consider the consequences of social responsibility on the prospects for sustainability since it is largely based on interaction with people. Customers, as well as residents, must be aware of the significance of social involvement in the strategies for sustainable business practices to propagate the values and mission statement of the Eden Project. Evaluation of a strategic approach towards sustainability can be driven by the motivation from Tim Smit and the implications of unifying the organization structure without any classifications which enable the realization of promising opportunities for the performance of team members based on individual competence. The sustainability of the Eden project can be supported by a strategic direction inclined towards association with customers and societies by transgressing boundaries of cultural dynamics. Essential perspectives for acquiring sustainability can be observed in the cognizable promotion of the organizational values and integration of minimal modifications in the traditional norms of the organization according to the evolved market scenario (Williamson & Yin, 2014). The Eden Project should focus less on profitability to apprehend plausible platforms for sustaining in a new business environment.

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  1. How can the resolution of brand development issues enhance the strategic business performance of the Eden Project?

 Brand development is a major requirement for ensuring that an organization reaches the customers for which it is meant to provide services and products. The brand reputation of the Eden project is reflected in the specific customer segment of tourists and enthusiasts. The limited scope for marketing the organization from a wider perspective is the prime reason for insufficiency in other necessary areas of the organization such as education and products. The education facilities which are provided by the organization are capable of providing degree and gardening courses as well as a myriad of resources for school students. The approach of the Eden project is inclined towards the establishment of a flexible environment in which the elements of pleasure, learning, and attractiveness can be applied in an integrated format. Therefore, it can be perceived that Eden Project has suitable competence to address the education needs of a wide assortment of students with distinct course criteria (, 2017). Differences that are noticed in the brand development strategies all over the domain of business organizations are primarily based on the changing customer segments. The branding activities for an organization should be based on the potential selling point which can be provided to a specific base of customers. The need for brand development in the case of the Eden project is derived from the potential of the organization in terms of appeal as well as resources (Burke, 2013). The capacity of the organization to introduce new dimensions in environmental protection and sustaining green practices could be observed as a potential attraction for the brand. Brand development is a systematic procedure involving the association of an organization with a particular symbol, sign, or name which could be used as representative of the organization for business purposes. Understanding the needs for brand development provides an impression of the use of brand development in other business applications such as the development of sustainability and customer loyalty. Brand development leads to brand recognition and the implementation of potential strategies by the Eden Project suggests the use of contemporary communication channels such as the Internet and social media (Rodriguez et al., 2013).

Strategic alignment with the process of brand development could be considered a viable alternative to ensure higher business performance. The process of brand development has to be complemented by major reforms in advertising as well as the introduction of viable support from distinct areas of the business as well as external sources (Black, 1986). Market research provides an appropriate representation of the distinct requirements of individual market segments. In the case of the Eden Project, it could utilize online advertising approaches to explore potential customer segments of individuals aware of organic products. The reputation of the Eden Project in the domain of tourism can be used as a potential support for obtaining better prospects for brand development through word-of-mouth publicity on social media platforms and the exchange of information in audiovisual formats. These opportunities are accessible for the Eden Project and it could realize the individual objectives of brand development through a comprehensive evaluation of the project life cycle and the individual stages.

Accounting Theory

  1. The Eden Project relies on additional funding from external agencies to execute new business activities such as the foundation of the Waste Neutral Recycling Compound and Education Resource Center. How will this dependence affect the prospects of sustainability and brand development?

 The initiatives of the Eden Project to ensure sustainable business practices, as well as brand development, can be considered as reliant on financial restraints. The requirement of financial support for strategic management is imperatively observed in various business settings. The Eden project serves as an educational charity and hence a large share of the organization’s initial investments was drawn from external agencies such as the Millennium Commission. The dependence of the organization on external funding as a source for strategic improvement reflects the potential insufficiencies which could arise in the context of project implementation for the resolution of business issues.

Financial requirements for the objective of sustainability indicate the requirement of investments in social responsibility activities. The Eden project can also be characteristically considered a social enterprise that relies on the objectives of fulfilling social and environmental purposes. Funding for activities such as waste management and protection of surrounding resources as well as monitoring the negative implications for the environment which are derived from the organization’s operations is considered a mandatory requirement. Waste management is a profound requirement noticed in the case of the Eden project since it has the potential capability to attract millions of tourists annually and therefore the notions of creating waste cannot be undermined in such scenarios. The impact of tourism activities on the local society in Cornwall also deserves specific attention which can be realized through addressing the issues faced by local communities as a part of social responsibility initiatives. Compensation for the local economy can be considered a plausible practice for social responsibility (Hauschild et al., 2013). Sustainable business practices such as the promotion of educational programs and degree coursework to project the organization in a favorable perspective require financial support.

Brand development activities for the Eden project could be largely subject to financial requirements in terms of technical staff, new hardware, and networks as well as costs of internet marketing. The benefits of online marketing for brand development can be considered optimal for the business performance of the organization only if the process is implemented continuously. Analysis of market research statistics and reiteration of the project life cycle in the project of brand development requires an investment of financial resources which have to be acquired from external sources. Despite the core competencies of the organization, the Eden project could fail to address brand development needs such as design, promotion, and follow-up activities due to a lack of substantial financial assistance (Dalcher, 2015). Furthermore, the Eden project also faces limitations in financial support due to the vested interests of certain external investors. The development of community interests and execution of social responsibility activities are some of the objectives which could be emphasized by certain funding agencies or sources. Preferences of funding sources for specific short-term objectives could also prove to be substantial barriers in the strategic direction of the Eden Project. Therefore the Eden Project must focus on alternative sources of funding such as capital management to acquire funds for strategic development activities from the revenues earned by the organization.

Organisational Behaviour


The report presented a case study of the Eden Project and highlighted the essential identification of business issues that hamper the business performance of the organization. The use of a project life cycle assessment to resolve the business issues has also been presented in the report alongside an illustration of three distinct research questions about the report.


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