Robin Hood Case Study Discussion Paper
1. Describe how Robin Hood developed his initial strategy for competing with the sheriff of Nottingham and discuss how he implemented it. Critique this approach. The original problem definition of high taxation that faced the people gave way for a new market which was stormed by Robin Hood. Seemingly an unlawful act, his mission was to “steal from the rich, and give to the poor”. As he entered the market, he was faced with rivalry of the prince and the sheriff. Robin Hood and his band of Merry men stole from the rich and gave to the poor which is in actuality is entirely opposite to the actions of his rivals.
As Robin Hood entered the existing niche market he gained popularity and support amongst the common folk as he was supplying a unique good/service. He provides a free service to the poor after his operating expenses are accounted for. Also, the people had a preference for his product and tactics were not easily matched or copied by the competition. By obtaining this support, this strategy was to his advantage against Prince John and the sheriff. The opinion of numerous common folk would have persuaded Prince John to change the law of unfair taxation.
Robin quickly realized that there was little he could do himself; which led to development of the organization by stimulating human resources. He sought close allies who would follow his vision of vengeance for the sheriff and the prince. These men would act as direct subordinates, however as time progress, admittance was allowed with less scrutiny whereby the only determining factor was loyalty. He believed strength lay in numbers. Robin implemented his strategy of ‘strength in numbers’ by seeking discipline from his band of men which ensured unity in the organization.
This was achieved through a specific department within the organizational hierarchy. As a result they became more powerful in their battle against the sheriff. This forced the Merry Men to live outside the law which was also desired to gain sufficient discipline in the group. This organization was fairly simple. Critique By acquiring a large extent of subordinates, Robin obtained a work force that is not necessarily trained as he allowed any to join who asked few questions. In doing so, extra man-hours would have to be spent in training.
Also if prescreening of the new entrants existed, the idea of using the entrants with existing skills can give way for a more efficient organization. I. e. farmers would have been used not for war but for food. As the largest internal dilemma faced the band was an increased group size infrastructure, supplies and other physical resources would quickly diminish. Thus cutting cost should be priority, thus tradeoffs can be made by employing skilled workers for defined job. E. g. famers and hunters With the ideal of improper interview, his organization could be easily infiltrated by his competitors thus relieving their plan and strategies.
2. Identify organizational characteristics and environment characteristics that would lead you to think robin hood is wise to considering a change in strategy as he enters his campaign second year? Robin’s organization could be seen as one of a hierarchy, he is the highest person in the organization which can put him in roles such as C. E. O. or chairman. His responsibility is to delegate specific task to his lieutenants, each has their own functions which contributes to the success of the merry men as a unit.
For example Will Scarlett was assigned the important task of shadowing the sheriff and notifying the merry men of the sheriff next move. Figure 1: Robin’s Organizational Hierarchy The motivation of the band was vital to keeping them interested in the purpose of the vendetta. Motivation theory seeks to explain all kinds of motivated behavior in different situations, including behavior in the organizations. Since the majority of behavior is sense motivated, individuals are greatly influenced by their environment.
Maslow’s theory of human motivation, all people have a need or desire for self respect, self esteem, and respect from others. This directly applies to the Merry Men, for they sought respect and were proud of their famous motto “Rob from the rich and give to the poor”. The resourced based model was important in the success of the group; five factors were looked at which the band demonstrated resources, capability, competitive advantage, attractive industry, strategy formulation and implementation. The resource of the group came from the merchants that travel through the forest, initially the resource was always available but t was quickly becoming sparse as merchants was choosing a different route. The men were properly trained to plan their robbery and skillful in their archery, however, the influxes of new recruits were beginning to strain the reserves of the group as training and food was costly. Robin and the merry men had the support from their customers which were the peasants and farmers but now as income was low and the maintenance cost was high they would have to tax the very people which they helped meaning that the peasants and farmers could turn on them and add to their troubles.
Understanding the resource base of the group I could see why a change in strategy was wise. Figure 2: Resourced Based Model Robin and his organization were in crisis due to lack of a proper corporate strategy. The merry men were growing, with large number of new recruits but the organic structure is not cohesive. Communication and discipline is being broken down, table 3 below shows some options robin could use and their SWOT analysis. | Opportunities | Threats | Strengths| SO Strategies: Kill the Sheriff * Wipe him out, no more problems * Has the men to do it When the sheriff is gone, disband. ST Strategies: Join the barons * Has the fighting force * Get access to capital markets * Maybe ends the conflict quicker| Weakness | WO Strategies: Limit size of band * Turn the fighting band into a group of elites * Maintains discipline * Solves food issues * Basically, curtail growth| WT Strategies: Disband * Give up the cause, return to normal life * Robin flees to another country to escape punishment| Figure 3: SWOT Matrix Problems Robin and his organization faced: * Lack of discipline Maintenance cost * Shelter/space shortage * Food shortage * training * security and vigilance (whoever wanted to join was taken in and there could be traitors and spies) These problems need to be address if the band is to have any chance against the sheriff and prince John.
3. Assume that Robin Hood has asked you to help him devise a new strategy. Identify a set of factors for him to consider in revising strategy. It was evident from the story that Robin Hood needed to change his approach owing to both internal and external factors.
An uncontrolled workforce along with unsuitable supplier location led to the brink of economic viability. Changing the overall goal of his organization to fixed transit taxation would decrease his competitive advantage over the Sheriff. As a result the cost of amenities which Mr. Hood provided to the common folk would increase. If he chooses this path he would lose his loyal supporters which kept him in control of the monopolized market. The farmers and townspeople would then favor Prince John’s governance and rely on his pity for commodities.
In the event of this situation Robin Hood’s main foe, The Sheriff would become stronger in light of his political connection with the prince. Although his work force was constantly growing, its productivity was diminutive. He claimed that he was not familiar with a large population of his organization. It would be in Robin’s best interest to restructure his work force. He would gain an advantage by decentralizing the team into several self sustaining units; each unit consisting of team manager, lieutenants and miscellaneous subordinates.
Akin to a franchised organization, each team unit would be operating under the Robin Hood brand name, have the same goal as Robin, and operate within the limits of Robin. This structure would be less demanding to co-ordinate and allow him to devise alternate strategies. Since Robin also had a problem with a definitive Sherwood Forest location, this structure would also aid his disguise from his suppliers, the rich merchant travelers and the Sheriff. It is an imprudent choice for Robin to divert from his core competency and profound skill of banditry.
The change in profession may lead to a lack of enthusiasm which would reflect poorly through the eyes of his followers and his brand name. References: Analyzing Strategic Management Cases Date Accessed: 02nd February 2011 The Business Operations of Robin Hood and the Merry men Author: Sumeet Malhotra Date updated: 2010 Date Accessed: 05th February 2011 ROBIN HOOD a Case Study
Author: Misti Walker Date updated: 05th September 2009 Date Accessed: 05th February 2011 Case Study 24 Robin Hood Book Winning In The Market Place Second Edition Date update: 2011 Date Accessed: 07th February 2011 Robin Hood Case Analysis Author: Aaron labin, Curt Matthews, Rich Miller http://www. scribd. com/doc/37469551/Robin-Hood-Final Date updated: 14th April 2009 Date Accessed: 07th February 2011