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Robin Hood Case Study

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Robin Hood Case (Essay)

What Should Robin Hood Do?

There are several issues Robin Hood needs to consider. First, Robin Hood needs to make sure his own personal grievances against the Sheriff do not cloud his vision and what is in the best interest of his Merrymen as a group. Second, take a broad look at the overall organizational structure by conducting an environmental scan, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and/or using a variety of organizational assessments (measurements). A SWOT analysis will help determine some strategic alternatives and how the band can attempt to fulfill its mission and achieve its goals. Robin Hood can use the SWOT analysis to identify where he is strong and vulnerable, where he should defend and attack by scanning both internal and external environments (McNamara, Performance Management, 1999).

An organization-wide change might include a change in mission, restructuring operations, rightsizing, and/or restructuring personnel into self-managed cells, which is needed for this band to survive. As with most organizations, when any changes are initiated there is generally resistance to accept changes and disagreements on new management styles and purposes. The organizational culture develops over time and may be resistant to change because of the persistent nature of how things have normally been done within the band. Robin Hood must consider whether to change their policy of outright confiscation of goods and institute a fixed transit tax (shift to a new business purpose) (McNamara, Basic Context for Organizational Change, 1999). His lieutenants strongly object and do not want to change the Merrymen's famous motto, or tax the farmers and the townspeople that support their fight against the Sheriff (Thompson, Strickland, & Gamble, 2005). Also, should Robin Hood accept the offer to merge with the Barons to fight the competition (Sheriff) and secure King Richard's release (personal communication, September 7, 2006).

Before jumping into any major organizational changes, issues will need to be worked out so the Merrymen are all oriented in the same direction and remain united and unified in the way the band needs to operate. The fear of the unknown tends to cause greater anxiety than the change itself. Generally, involving personnel (the Merrymen) is a core element process for personnel empowerment to make them feel valued and important for team building. This will ensure Robin Hood gets as much feedback as he can on what the Merrymen think the problems are and what should be done to resolve the band's issues (McNamara, Strategic Planning,


Next, Robin Hood needs to plan and strategize on how to take care of his Merrymen and address the issues to handle the overwhelming growth of new recruits. He is responsible for the training, health, morale, and safety of the band, as well as its well-being. The rapid size increase of the band creates several different issues within itself that Robin Hood must deal with as well; (1 depleting the forest resources for food and shelter causing the band to outgrow its present location; (2 how to increase revenues and reduce cost; (3 find a new legitimate market for making revenues, because travelers avoid the forest for fear of being robbed; (4 because of the large number of new recruits, security for the band must be increased to avoid detection and not give away their exact location; (5 at least half of the men in Robin Hood's band are unfamiliar to him. He needs to know who they are or remove unnecessary manpower and develop a strict and stringent way of determining who can become a band member; (6 Robin Hood's leadership role with his Merrymen has changed from ruling supremely (referent and expert power) and making all the decisions to a management role (legitimate, reward, coercive, and referent power) aligning his resources, enforcing discipline, control, and maintaining the level of motivation in order for the Merrymen to believe in Robin Hood's vision for it to be successful (Ambur, 2000).

Finally, with the growing size of the sheriff's forces of men, money, and improved organization, Robin Hood needs to plan a strategy to win the fight (militarily as we as public perception and opinion) against the Sheriff, attack the Sheriff's strengths, and overthrow Prince John to eliminate the Sheriffs source of authority over Nottingham and the common people (personal communication, September 10, 2006).

What is the organization's mission (careful -- that may not be as obvious as it seems!)?

Robin Hood's original mission was revenge, to steal from the rich and give to the poor because of his personal grievances against the Sheriff of Nottingham and his protection of an usurped administration (Prince John from King Richard). Prince John taxed King Richard's subjects into poverty and stole from them for his own personal gain (losing customer focus). Robin Hood and his small disciplined group of Merrymen robbed from the tax collectors and other wealthy patricians traveling through the forest and returned the money to the poor. Eventually Robin Hood's mission evolved to change the Nottingham administration by fighting the oppression of a corrupt government and fighting for the poor maligned peasants (personal communication, September 10, 2006).

Do Robin and the Merrymen need a new mission, new vision or strategy?

Yes, Robin needs to change his strategy to fit the new organization structure by breaking down the band into smaller groups (cells) and promote more lieutenants to reinforce the band's mission, vision, and strategies. Robin Hood needs to define the vision so that all the Merrymen understand and accept the same vision as Robin Hood. Developing a strategic vision statement will help guide the band to where they want to be in the future. Change the mission statement to represent his band and not just the personal vendetta mission of one man. A mission statement describes what the band's basic function in society is in terms of the products and the services it provides (Thompson, Strickland, & Gamble, 2005). Even though Robin Hood and his Merrymen steal from the rich, it is for a good cause to help the common people throw off the shackles of an oppressive government. Robin Hood needs to change the business strategy (how to get there) of the band and find new legal methods of making revenue to support his movement against the Sheriff and the repressive administration of Prince John (personal communication, September 10, 2006).

What would YOU recommend?

First, develop a plan of action for specific business strategies



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