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Robin Hood

Essay by   •  March 11, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,339 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,367 Views

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Problem Definition

The problem facing Robin Hood is one that many organizations are faced with as they continue to grow - that is, growth that they cannot handle. In Robin Hood's case the organization has grown at a rate that far exceeds the capacity of what it organization can provide. In the case itself Robin is quoted as saying, "I don't know half the men I run into these days." This would indicate that he is losing touch with his organization and the people who are working within it.

Further to that, another problem facing Robin Hood and his organization of the Merrymen is cost control. The case makes reference to the fact that, with the increase in food costs, the financial reserves of the organization are being diminished. Every organization strives to maintain its costs and when its control is inhibited it is at great risk.


Should Robin Hood not find a way to control both his organization's growth and expenses he may succumb to a number of negative consequences:

Loss of Control

As the size of his organization grows, Robin risks losing control of his men. The case states, "vigilance was in decline and discipline was becoming harder to enforce." Clearly, keeping control of his men is a problem brought on by the organization's rapid expansion. If this continues, a poor public image could result.

Lack of Communication (Mission / Vision)

Similar to the loss of control that can result from rapid growth, communication problems can emerge as well. This is detrimental in that if not all Merrymen understand the mission and vision of the group, morale could be decreased. Further to that, not understanding mission and vision leads to ineffective employees.

Depleted Financial Resources

If the Merrymen cannot control their costs they are at great risk of running out of financial resources. In the long-term the organization will no longer be sustainable and it will be forced to disband.

Causes of the Problem

The causes of the problem are connected to the lack of any strategic vision. Robin Hood needs to develop a strategic plan and communicate it to all of his lieutenants and Merrymen to ensure that they are all on the same page and have the same goals. The problem can be broken down into four main causes:

Lack of strategic mission and vision

The lack of strategic mission and vision is a combination of sloppy controls as well as inadequate communications. Robin Hood and his lieutenants need to establish and execute a plan that allows them to deal with their competition (sheriff) in a way that fits with the corporate culture.

Faster growth than infrastructure allows

Due to indefinite plans, the rate of growth of the Merrymen is hurting Robin Hood as he does not have control of all of his employees. He notes that he does not even know who some of his employees are. The Merrymen are recruiting others en masse, without regard for the decreasing market share of the organization or the lack of food or resources available. As the group expands, it also needs to ensure that there are no interpersonal conflicts or motivational issues.

Poor business location

Currently, all of the Merrymen are concentrated in one area of the forest. As the rich become wise, they are avoiding the forest altogether, decreasing the organization's market share. The tactics that worked when the Merrymen first joined forces are no longer effective. The Merrymen as well as the lieutenants need to work as a group to try to capture some of the market share and this is not happening.

Inconsistent cash flows

Inconsistent cash flows are mainly occurring due to the growth of the band. With so many Merrymen, the demand for food is outgrowing the supply; therefore, the band is forced to buy food and other supplies from outlying villages. The fear of changing their hiring policies will continue to hurt them because if the band keeps growing, the profits will continue to diminish.

Possible Alternatives

Implement a Hiring Process

With more people joining the Merrymen, it is important that Robin starts to take control of the situation and implement a hiring process. Robin's policy has been to allow anyone into the group as long as they carry the same beliefs. However, with an increasing number of recruits coming from all over England, the campaign is becoming too large. Therefore, Robin needs to start interviewing recruits before they are allowed into the company. This would help them choose who is qualified and able to help the Merrymen continue with their mission. This alternative will also help Robin gain better control of the group and limit the amount of employees and subsequent costs.

Create a Strategic Direction for the Company

Since the Merrymen do not have a clear sense of direction, Robin needs to establish what the Merrymen's objectives are in order to be successful. Without a strategic direction for the company, including a mission and vision statement, all of the organization's decisions are being made blindly. A strategic vision sets the course for the company and aids it in achieving its objectives.

Expand and Diversify the Company

The organization could look into expanding into new markets outside of its current location. The Merrymen could independently add a number of new locations that would each service a different area. Another option for Robin to consider when looking at expansion is to facilitate mergers or partnerships with other companies in the market that have similar objectives.

Implement a "Free King Richard Tax"

Robin could implement a tax that would generate revenue for the company. The tax would be called the "Free King Richard Tax" in an attempt to justify the taxation of the people affected and to preserve the company's public image. The goal of the tax would be "to free the king," as the name says, but the Merrymen would take a percentage of the tax, generating revenue for the organization.

Evaluation of Alternatives

Implement a Hiring Process

Implementing a hiring process would help slow the growth of the Merrymen; thus, it would eventually cut down the expenses of the company. It would take time to interview



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