Managing international projects: a case study of the “water cube” aquatic centre for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Rob Leslie-Carter, Patrick ZOU, Eve Xiao Tan

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


This paper discusses the processes of managing the design of the Water Cube Aquatic Centre – a landmark building for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, including the project scope, project team, major challenges and lessons learned. It was found that innovatively meeting the client expectation and functional requirements, managing the organisational and national cultural risks and differences in the project team were the key issues leading to the project success. It is also found that China‟s lack of regulatory transparency, regional difference, the need to protect intellectual property and copyright of design, as well as a relationship-based business culture were among the factors that made China a challenging project environment. Cultural understanding and relationship (Guanxi) building are fundamental strategies in responding to these challenges. One lesson learned was the need for the foreign design and management team‟s involvement in the construction stage to ensure the conversion of design into reality, construction quality and personal fulfilment
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 25th Annual ARCOM Conference
Subtitle of host publicationNottingham, United Kingdom, 7-9 September 2009, Vol. 2
EditorsA Dainty
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherThe Conference
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780955239014
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sept 20099 Sept 2009


ConferenceAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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