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Competitive Strategy Through Robi Hood

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Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw of the 12th century England, was famous for robbing the rich and distributing the money to the poor people of the town. Though his actions were against the law, his noble deeds in distributing the money amongst the needy earned him a good reputation amongst the town folks and evoked a sense of heroism amongst us readers. Though the deeds of Robin Hood are a part of the English folklore, this case can be used to understand the importance of creating and executing strategy.

What started of as a case of personal vendetta against the sheriff had now turned into a full scale battle between Robin HoodÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s Merrymen and the Sheriffs growing force. While Robin HoodÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s team was small, he had the control over them but in the past few years the band of Merrymen had grown significantly and he was slowly loosing control over them. The main objective with which he had started the cause against the Sheriff had now become diluted and other factors and influences were creping in. This coupled with the fact that now the SheriffÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s force was growing due to his political connection, Robin Hood was facing a dilemma in sustaining in his motives and staying ahead of the Sheriff. He had also been approached by some local barons who were conspiring in overthrowing the sheriff and bringing the exiled King Richard back to power. Thoughts of a probable failed conspiracy and the fact that he was loosing ground against the Sheriff in his battle, Robin Hood had to find a solution fast, and a one that was effective.

1. What are the issues that Robin is dealing with?

Though RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s initial revolt against the sheriff paid rich dividends, certain issues have crept up in the near past and have prevented him from gaining a competitive advantage over his foe. In detailing the issues Robin is currently dealing with I will also use the SWOT analysis to identify where and how Robin can become successful. As RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s forces have increased, he has lost control over the men. With the smaller army he exactly knew the responsibility of each person but now he felt he had no longer control over them. He also felt that discipline was on the decline and the motive with which he had started his campaign had become diluted. Growing size of the forces had also strained the food resources of the forest and in turn Robin had to buy food from other villages that resulted in financial drain.

Travellers, whose goods Robin and his men used to loot, had started to outthink Robin and now had started to use other alternative routes thereby preventing RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s men from stealing it. Additionally, RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s foe, the sheriff was growing stronger day by day and was getting better organized than Robin. Adding to the cacophony, Robin was approached by conspirators who were interested in overthrowing the current king and the sheriff. Using the SWOT model, I will detail the current situation of Robin Hood.


Ð'„X Loyal followers

Ð'„X Large size of force

Ð'„X Support of the town people

Ð'„X Trusted lieutenants Weakness

Ð'„X Lack of cohesion amongst large force

Ð'„X RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s hands-on approach and lack of effective delegation of authority

Ð'„X Depletion of food supplies

Ð'„X Lack of cause amongst his followers


Ð'„X Crafting and executing an effective strategy

Ð'„X Mobilizing large force towards a common objective

Ð'„X Support of barons who wanted to overthrow Prince John

Ð'„X Reinstatement of King Richard Threats

Ð'„X SheriffÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s growing strength

Ð'„X Prince JohnÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s spies

Ð'„X Depleting food resources

Ð'„X Lack of financial funding as merchants were using alternative routes to avoid being looted

2. What alternatives are available to Robin?

Using the above SWOT table, opportunities in the SWOT table translate to possible alternatives available to Robin. As we have seen in the extract, Robin initially started off with a complete command over his army. Since the size of his forces started swelling, he has been that much less influential in his control over them. While his strategy and hand-on approach worked initially when the forces were small, he had not envisioned the impact he and his Merrymen would have on other town people in getting them interested to joining the bandwagon. Another factor that has influenced his control over the forces has been that while the core of the group believed in the cause of his crusade against the sheriff, the newer recruits seem more interested in other perks that have come along with it. While Robin lived in the 12th century, absence of a concrete strategy is evident even in this example. Had Robin kept abreast with the happening around him and crafted and executed a strategy, he would not have been in this position he currently finds himself in. Lack of vision is also to be blamed for the position he seems to be in.

Another alternative that Robin has is once a clear strategic plan is devised, he can use the growing number of forces to his advantage. While a large chaotic group of force with no sense of direction could be a problem, if used wisely and efficiently it could well work in RobinÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s advantage. Hence Robin should channel all his resources in training and preparing his resources toward his cause and use them to defeat the sheriff.

Another option or alternative available to Robin is to use the barons who were growing discontent with the current Prince. Since the Prince supported the Sheriff, overthrowing the Prince would weaken the SheriffÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s position and give Robin a clear advantage. This alternative did however have a downfall. If the sheriff or the Prince found out about the conspiracy plan of overthrowing them, retributions would have been lethal. Robin had to be careful and discreet if he was going to choose this alternative. Choosing this alternative would have also ensured that King



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