In the Robin Hood case, we can easily apply the principles of a business organization. Robin was the CEO of the Merrymen. He made all important decisions and a few lieutenants serve in roles that have been delegated such as information gathering, discipline, finances and provisioning. These make up the top management in the organization. This is associated with the Fayolism theory developed by Henri Fayol who proposed that managers perform particular functions for the growth and success of the organization.
The four tasks that have been delegated as well as Robin Hood’s personal vendetta against the Sheriff serve as the basis for many problems encountered by the Merrymen. First year, did well because they were a small organization experiencing little problems, growth was steady, revenues were consistent due to stealing from the rich, no major competitive forces were established in the industry and Robin Hood and the Merry men had the support of the stakeholders (peasants and farmers) because the men saw to it that the people were taken care of as well as their equal hate for the Sheriff .
According to Henri Mintzberg what is expected of a manager is described through management roles. Robin as the CEO possesses the decisional roles which entails the important decision making and choices. The Merrymen acquire informational roles through information gathering and finances as a few of their delegated tasks and finally, the peasants and farmers possess the interpersonal skills that are very symbolic in nature because of their absolute interest and support in the efforts made by Robin and the Merrymen.
Their peasants and farmers are the main reason for their formation “rob the rich-give to the poor). Over the years, Robin Hood was faced with many issues that needs to be addressed. He believed that the strength and manpower of any army was in its numbers and so the band is growing too large with insufficient resources to sustain it. There is also a decline in the Merrymen’s vigilance as it is so hard to keep track with the larger numbers which may cause them to be unprepared if the Sheriff were to place a surprise attack on them and discipline is hard to enforce resulting in less control.
This issue needs to be resolved in order for the men to work well with one another before a case of mutiny outbreaks (Robert. L. Katz; human skills). The Sheriff is growing stronger and becoming better organized because of his owerful allies as well as the support of the evil Prince John. Just as the numbers of Merrymen are growing, travelers are beginning to find alternate routes through the forest to avoid apprehension, causing a decline in the band’s revenue stream. This is the major problem that Robin Hood needs to overcome.
If he cannot steal the rich people’s money, he has nothing to give to the poor which can cause a strain in the relationship with his stakeholders. Also, with no money, Mr. Hood will not be able to maintain his group of Merrymen, and they will become weaker… making themselves susceptible to attacks from the Sheriff. The two satellite problems facing Robin Hood are the intensive threat of competitive rivals and threats to suppliers. The core problem is rivalry, Prince John and the Sherriff are Robin’s main rivals and pose a definite threat to his operation.
They are in direct competition with each other, and their actions have to constantly be monitored which is going to be difficult due to the their persistent efforts to capture Robin Hood and his Merrymen. Suppliers are a high level threat, because at any point those who support Robin Hood could be captured by Prince John and the Sherriff, thus cutting off supplies. Also, the bargaining power of suppliers is high simply because of the business Robin is involved in(robbing). His business is illegal and therefore a high level threat to anyone who supplies to him.
Threat from buyers is currently a low level threat because an objective of Robin’s is to give to the poor. They have no reason to pose any threat unless at some time Robin Hood begins to tax them. The threat of new entry is also low given the legality of this endeavor. Individuals will likely be more willing to Join Robin Hood as opposed to forming their own faction. Although it is bviously more common to have a threat of new entry when in control of the market while making a profit, in this particular situation it is relatively low given Robin Hood’s rapport within the forest.
The threat of substitute products has been identified as a low to moderate threat. The residents of the forest are assumed to be the customers. The variable that make them a threat include: the perceived possibility that Robin may fail. In the event of this transpiring, the most probable alternative would be the majority of the people leaving the forest. This is a low to moderate threat because lthough Robin’s current status is relatively stable; his customers face the real possibility of being forced into making alternative decisions.
This, along with the changes in the external environment is making the band’s business model obsolete. These changes must be addressed along with the structuring and training of the ever-growing band of Merrymen. In short, Robin needs to select a new strategy and rally the Merrymen behind the cause because the current strategy is becoming timeworn at a hurried pace. Robin Hood and his men need a new mission, objectives, and strategy. Their vision is belonging to a kingdom with an honourable King who treats everyone fairly. His new mission should be to free the people from Prince John and return King Richard to the throne.
Robin Hood and his band are in need of a fresh strategy in response to external happenings. For instance in the situation where the travelers are beginning to avoid the forest, despite added cost and inconvenience, to protect their belongings. Also, Robin’s plan to force the Sheriff out of Nottingham by causing unrest is not working. Indeed, the Sheriff is using powerful connections to apply added pressure to Robin and the Merrymen. To further complicate matters, some of the barons that appointed Prince John to the throne are now campaigning to clandestinely raise the ransom to free King Richard.
These barons have offered Robin Hood the chance to help in this mission in exchange for future amnesty. While the return of King Richard and the ousting of Prince John is what Robin wants, the risks involved in such a deal are very high. The mission of the gang is “rob from the rich and give to the poor”. However, the true goal of the organization is to remove the amoral Sheriff from office, as evidenced by the consideration of Robin to institute a fixed transit tax. A more appropriate mission would be “rid Nottingham of the corrupt King John and Sheriff’.
The gang also needs to outline some objectives, as this has not been done in the past. For example, each Merryman shall produce enough loot each day to pay for his own food. The band does need a new organizational structure as a result of the “lead for change in structure would possibly be promoting more lieutenants in order to monitor the men more effectively and keep the men clear of their strategy. Maybe the group could form smaller camps that are part of the whole for organizational stability and spread across the entire forest of Nottingham.
Robin Hood could Join with the barons to collect the ransom to release King Richard, receive amnesty and a resolution to the campaign against the Sheriff. It is risky because the barons could offset his efforts and if the plan proves to be unsuccessful, Prince John will unleash his vicious and volatile side to ensure Robin Hood’s demise, but it is less risky than doing what he is presently doing which is nothing. In assisting them, he has more support against the Sheriff. If he continues to do nothing he will eventually end up caught by the sheriff, run out of supplies or mutiny will break out among his men.
Robin Hood must weigh the benefits and risks of the following : forming a strategic alliance with the barons to rescue King Richard , expanding the organization into areas outside Sherwood Forest ,killing the Sheriff as a defensive strategic move or switching to a fixed transit tax as an offensive strategy move. 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.
The group has grown spontaneously in its numbers. Manpower is the largest resource any group can have and the number of the Merrymen is formidable. Robin Hood is also a strong leader. For any one-single man to organize a group of this caliber, strong leadership skills must be present. The brand recognition the Merrymen posses has also been a strength. Because the group is so popular, it has allowed them to make a difference in their community. This popularity has also gained the group access to the resources of the surrounding towns and communities.
The cost of training and producing their product is also a trength as well as their skills of being well trained fghting men. According to Robert. L. Katz, managers need three essential skills, in being well trained men, they must acquire Job- specific knowledge and technigues needed to proficiently perform work tasks (technical skills) They simply steal to obtain the capital they need and training costs are small outside the capital needed to supply the arms and feed the Merrymen. Most of the combat supplies are probably stolen as well.
Moreover, new recruits are coming in and the men are being reunited in the enmity against the Sheriff. The first major weakness I have identified is Robin Hood’s personal grudge with the sheriff. This has a great potential to cloud his overall view and influence judgments that may otherwise may not be for the good of the group. Even though the group was born from this idea, it has seemingly surpassed Just over-throwing the sheriff and transformed to a scope much larger. This personal vendetta may not take this into account and cause ill-formed decisions.
The second major weakness I have identified is the alliances Robin Hood has made. This problem encompasses a few of the other weaknesses the Merrymen have. At first, the recruitment looked for viable candidates that fit a certain criteria. Now, the Merrymen will accept anyone who is willing to serve the cause hence there is a lack in familiarity with all the organizational members. Because of this single change in recruitment procedures, the now laxed recruitment process, another issue has arisen; exceeding the food capacity of the surrounding lands.
This is simply a numerical problem that is encountered when you let anyone Join a group that relies so heavily on natural resources. The food shortage has also resulted in a depletion of the Merrymen’s financial reserves. Since the land can no longer provide the resources the group needs, they have turned to trade and purchasing. The large number of the group has also caused a space problem. The next major sets of weaknesses I have identified are a result of the looting and raids the Merrymen participate in.
This raised the question to Robin Hood of what alternatives are available to help the group raise funds. Robin Hood favored taxation of the travelers and local towns people rather than looting and raiding but this concept was met with much resistance. His lower management argued that taxation would turn their closest allies against them and ould virtually put them in the same category as the Sheriff. A major opportunity present that is not coupled with the weaknesses the Merrymen have is the proposition of freeing King Richard.
Securing the release of King Richard, if successful, would be very beneficial to the Merrymen. This is potentially another source of income for the Merrymen and would shine beneficial political light on the group. If the group were to fail, the retribution would be detrimental. Instead of fghting Just one sheriff and his men, the band would potentially have to take on the entire army commanded by Prince John. The opportunities present are forming an alliance with the barons in order to bring King Richard back to Nottingham and expanding the Merryman into the forest spreading revenue base.
The sheriff, of course, was the source of the major threats to the Merrymen. At first the campaign was successful but over time the sheriff and his forces are growing larger and better organized causing increased direct competition. They have received the funding they need to disrupt the Merrymen’s operations. The plan the group first used forecasted that a perpetual state of unrest would cause the Sheriff to be removed from his osition, however the opposite happened and the sheriff used the unrest to secure reinforcements and funding for the campaign.
This was a result of his close strategic alliance with Prince John. Moreover, Prince John is very paranoid and could act irrationally by sending his spies to offset the Merrymen. Additionally, aligning with the barons is very risky as they could deceive Robin. Several recommendations have been developed for the Merrymen to aid in the success of the group. It is the belief that the current strategy is one that can again be successful but many changes need o be implemented to ensure this strategy’s success. I recommend that Robin Hood align with the barons.
He should help them collect the ransom that would free King Richard. In order for this to work, Robin Hood would have to sell this idea to the Merrymen and the farmers and the townspeople and change the policy of outright confiscation of goods. He has to convince them that the fixed transit tax will go towards their Kings ransom. Robin acquires the conceptual skills required of any manager to perform proficiently according to Katz, he is looking at the bigger picture which he believes everyone will benefit from. conceptual skills).
This will help everyone feel loyal and patriotic to one common cause. The citizens already do not like the Prince John and they would likely unite together and support any strategy lieutenants to help the already overworked ones that he has, given the state of discipline and other problems. Robin has considered killing the Sheriff but it would not end the campaign because it has grown beyond the scope of Just the Sheriff, but decided against it because it would only satisfy his thirst for revenge without improving the matter.
The next Sheriff would undoubtedly be Just as bad if not worse ecause the Sheriffs association is devoid of values. Also, with the Sheriffs high- powered friends and increasing resources, the chances of succeeding in the slaying are dim because this would more than likely anger Prince John into dealing out very harsh punishment that could terminate Robin Hood and his men. If there is an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the Sheriff, retribution will be fierce. The Merrymen need to build off the strengths it has. The quality of the manpower is an area of concern.
Implementation of the original recruitment process or an advanced recruitment process is the first necessary fix. Just letting anyone be a participant of the group has been the source to several of the issues plaguing the Merrymen. Candidates should have a particular set of skills to allow entry. If there is a food shortage, pre-screen candidates for skills such as farming. Discipline has been identified as another issue. This can be eliminated through the better screening process and better training. For this all to work, there must be a better management system put in place.
The external threats, weaknesses and opportunities the Merrymen have are formidable but proper action can be used to manage these. The ack of food and provisions can first be solved by recruiting farmers and hunter/ gathers to the group who solely focus on these issues as well as enforcing that the men produce enough loot each day for his own food. This would also help eliminate the expenses the group incurs as trading and bartering for provision could be gradually eliminated. Since revenues are in decline, any money-saving action is beneficial. Concurrent with this issue, expansion of the raiding area is a must.
Though Robin feels as though he is losing control of the band, he admits to not knowing half of the men and is finding it hard to enforce discipline. They have the opportunity of limiting the size of the band which maintains discipline and solves food scarcity which basically curtails growth. This strategic move will deem them weak and powerless against the Sheriff and Prince John. The more manpower they have, the greater chance they have of carrying out the mission. The band should extend their operations throughout Sherwood Forest in order to rejuvenate revenues, which at present are in decline.
They may also be able to access supplies more readily which previously would have been obtained from outlying villages, thus reducing costs. This also allows them the opportunity to continue robbing in an adjacent region which is consistent with the original organization and its growing size. The part of the group that conducts raids should also work very closely with the intelligence gathering portion. Once again, proper recruitment and training will result in a part of the group who can focus on this important aspect.
The intelligence can be used to know when and where raids are conducted and what moves the sheriff is making. However, all the groups need to be properly trained in combat for when the need arises. These groups should continue to be managed separately.. In this instance, time is of the essence. As the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men learn Sherwood Forest’s resources have been depleted by the large amounts of recruits that inhabit the area, and this has seriously drained the band’s financial reserves, however, this does give the men a greater asset in their numbers.
The case seems unclear about where the Merrymen see themselves over the next few years, but one thing is clear, if they wish to survive, they will have to take immediate action. If the band is successful overthrowing Prince John, they will have to work in close onjunction with King Richard to shape a society which functions equally for members of all socio-economic classes (assuming this is their goal).
The central issue faced by Robin Hood and his Merrymen is how to win their fght against the Sheriff of Nottingham. We recommend partaking in this venture though because we see the benefits outweighing the risks. However, this must be a carefully planned and executed venture. Robin Hood and his band should organize an attack on Prince John in order to eliminate the Sheriffs authority over Nottingham and its occupants. If successful, the Merrymen will return to their law abiding life.