Posted: May 24th, 2022
Strategic Management – Case Study Robin Hood
STRATEGIC Management: ROBIN HOOD CASE STUDY
In the past few years, several theories involving the implementation of strategic management in all types of organizations have emerged as a significant element of competitive advantage for both employees and management personnel. An analysis of such strategies using the Robin Hood Case Study provides an example of how strategic management can affect an organization’s mission, vision, future and overall success. According to Thompson et.al. (2005), an organization’s strategy is management’s game plan for growing the business, staking out a market position, attracting and pleasing customers, competing successfully, conducting operations, and achieving targeted objectives.
A company’s strategy is reflected in its actions in the marketplace and the statements of senior managers about the company’s current business approaches, future plans, and efforts to strengthen its competitiveness and performance (Thompson et.al., 2005). This paper will analyze Robin Hood’s organizational strategy, mission and vision in the context of strategic management, and will offer a path of strategic management for Robin and the Merrymen to follow that will ensure their organization’s success.
Organizational Structure of Robin Hood and his Merrymen
In Robin Hood’s organization, he is the supreme ruler, and hold sole responsibility for the delegation of specific tasks to certain individuals. Each individual has their own function, and each individual contributes to the organization of Merrymen as a whole. For example, Robin Hood delegated the task of shadowing the sheriff and notifying the Merrymen of the sheriff’s next move to Will Scarlett. Other members had similar tasks, and the well-being of the men rested on certain individuals with important tasks. As a result, Robin Hood must be able to motivate his band of followers under motivation theory, which seeks to explain all kinds of motivated behavior in different situations, including behavior in organizations. Since the majority of behavior is sense motivated, individuals are greatly influenced by their environment. The best known theory of motivation in this area as it applies to strategic management is Maslow’s theory of human motivation, which centers on the theory of “physiological needs (Maslow, 1943). As related to the theory of human motivation, all people have a need or desire for a stable, formally based, high evaluation of themselves, for self-respect, self-esteem, and respect from others (Maslow, 1943). This directly applies to the Merrymen, for they sought respect and were proud of their famous motto “Rob from the rich and give to the poor.”
Motivation and Equity Theory as applied to the Merrymen
However, motivation is not the sole determinant of behavior. Ability and knowledge of what one is supposed to do combines with motivation in determining behavior in organizations. Equity theory suggests that motivated behavior is a form of exchange in which individuals employ an internal balance sheet in determining what to do. It predicts that people will choose the alternative they perceive as fair. The components of equity theory are inputs, outcomes, comparisons, and results. Inputs are the attributes the individual brings to the situation and the activities required. Outcomes are what the individual receives from the situation. The comparisons are between the ratio of outcomes to inputs and some standard. Results are the behaviors and attitudes that flow from the comparison, but other standards of comparison, including oneself in a previous situation, seem equally probable. Therefore, under equity theory, the skills of all of the Merrymen can be enhanced by giving the men additional opportunities, coated as responsibilities.
Brief Overview of the Merrymen’s Mission
Robin Hood can seize this opportunity to give the men additional responsibilities because as the band of Merrymen grows larger, more issues arise. In this function Robin Hood faces several issues; as the band of Merrymen grows larger, discipline has become harder for him to enforce. Additionally, the food supply has become scarce as a direct result of the growing number of followers. However, Robin Hood has identified a policy change to remedy this problem: to implement a fixed transit tax in place of their confiscation of goods. Robin Hood’s core issue is to determine how to implement a fixed transit tax without losing the farmers and townspeople as allies. In order to decide what Robin Hood should do, the mission of the Merrymen needs to be re-examined. The overall mission of the Merrymen is to collect enough ransom that would release King Richard the Lionheart from his jail in Austria in return for Robin Hood’s future amnesty. If the Merrymen fail in this mission, their pursuit as ordered by Prince John would be relentless, and retribution swift. Thus, their mission must be examined in terms of strategic management.
New Strategy for the Merrymen’s Organization
In the Robin Hood Case Study, Robin Hood and the Merrymen do not need a new mission; however the men are in need of both a new strategy and vision. Thompson et.al. (2005), has identified nine core concepts that can be applied to identifying Robin Hood and his Merrymen’s new strategy. First, Robin Hood and his Merrymen must look for actions to gain the market share, or actions to gain the confidence and trust of the farmers and townspeople. This confidence and trust has already been secured through their previous dealings with the townspeople under their motto of “Rob from the rich, and give to the poor,” and the fact that Prince John was unpopular among the townspeople. In recent years, goal setting and levels of trust within the structure of any organization have emerged as a significant factor in the determination of the organization’s success or failure. However, Robin Hood’s Merrymen do not obtain all these behaviors simply by becoming a Merryman.
Goals setting theories argue that organization members set goals and that organizations can influence work behavior by influencing these goals. The major concepts in the theory are intentions, performance standards, goal acceptance, and the effort expended. These concepts are assumed to be the motivation. Individual goal setting should be more effective than group goals because it is the impact of goals on intentions that is important. In goal-setting theory the crucial factor is the goal. The ultimate goal of the Merrymen is to set King Richard free, and to continue to serve the farmers and townspeople through the inconvenience of the rich. Although the incentive or reward may affect goal acceptance and commitment, neither is the critical element. Tests of the theory show that using goals leads to higher performance than situations without goals, and that difficult goals lead to better performance than easy ones. In this case, the Merrymen are faced with a difficult goal because they are acting outside of the law of Prince John. Strategic management research indicates that although participation in goal setting may increase satisfaction, it does not always lead to higher performance. Difficult, accepted, specific goals combined with feedback and rewards for goal attainment should result in highly motivated members. What this means is that Robin Hood, as the leader of the Merrymen, must provide his followers with positive feedback and encouragement.
Changing Market Conditions
Next, their actions must respond to changing market conditions and other external circumstances. This means that they must respond to the fact that Prince John had spies everywhere, and that their food source was diminishing as their band grew larger. Robin Hood’s next step would be to determine actions to enter new geographic or product markets or exit existing ones. As applied to the Case Study, what this means is that Robin Hood and his followers must decide to give up raiding the rich for items such as their food supply, and enter into a new fixed transit tax system. The fourth step recommended by Thompson et. al (2005) is to initiate actions to merge with or acquire rival companies. In this case, Robin Hood must seek to work with enemies or rivals in search of the same goal. In this case, he is asked by the barons to work with them in collecting the ransom to free King Richard. He can work with them, and even join them in their efforts, or he can make the barons Merrymen themselves. Next, he must work to form strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships. He is in the process of doing this with the farmers and townspeople but runs the risk of losing them as allies by implementing a fixed transit tax.
The Establishment of a Fixed Transit Tax
The fifth step is to pursue new market opportunities and defend against threats to the well-being of his Merrymen. Threats to the well-being of the Merrymen are the spies of Prince John, and the fact that the band is so large that discipline has become a problem. Robin Hood must determine actions and approaches that define how the organization manages research and development, and other key activities. Next, Robin Hood must determine what actions will strengthen the competitive advantage over Prince John and his spies, and correct any weaknesses of the Merrymen. Finally, Robin Hood must take actions to diversify the Merrymen’s revenues and earnings by entering new businesses. In other words, he must come up with a way to collect the tax, as through affixed transit tax. Since he has already come up with the idea for a fixed tax, he must now take steps to implement it successfully. One method of achieving this is first to gain the following of his Merrymen in acceptance of the tax. They must be able to demonstrate to the farmers, townspeople and even the barons why a fixed transit tax is necessary to their ultimate goal of freeing King Richard. He must be able to demonstrate how and why the positive factors of the tax outweigh the negative ones, and show a direct relationship between the tax and the freedom of the King.
New Vision for Robin Hood and the Merrymen
Therefore, Robin Hood and the Merrymen need a new strategy, as defined above, to accomplish their mission. Their mission is to free King Richard through the implementation of a fixed transit tax that will keep the Merrymen’s organization stable in Sherwood Forest until the ransom is collected. Theirs is a typical mission statement; one that provides a brief overview of the organization’s present business purpose, geographic standing and market leader. However, as Thompson et.al (2005) points out, company mission statements almost never say anything about where the company is headed, the anticipated changes in its business, or its aspirations. This is the reason why Robin Hood and the Merrymen need a new vision to go with their new management strategy. In the course of deciding “who we are and where we are going,” many companies also come up with a statement of values to guide the company’s pursuit of its vision (Thompson, et.al., 2005). By “values,” Thompson et.al. (2005) means the beliefs, business principles, and practices that are incorporated into the way the organization operates and the behavior of organization members.
Robin Hood and his Merrymen’s new vision must incorporate the values of integrity, innovativeness, risk taking, giving back to the community of farmers and townspeople, building strong relationships, and respect for others to guide them in their vision of restoring the fair King Richard to his rightful throne. This must become the Merrymen’s new strategic vision to ensure that their mission is ultimately successful. Through applying the elements of strategic management, Robin Hood and his Merrymen should be able to free the King, and restore order to the chaos and fear created by the rule of Prince John. The strategy of Robin Hood and his followers is reflected in the actions taken by the Merrymen, their efforts to strengthen competitiveness with Prince John’s spies, and their future plans. Finally, after their mission is accomplished, a new mission for the Merrymen must be established using their present values and current vision as a guide in their organization’s strategic management.
Maslow, a.H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50,
Thompson, a.A., Strickland, a.J. & Gamble, J.E. (2005). Crafting and Executing
Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage, Concepts and Cases. 14 Ed.
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