Case 20 - Robin Hood

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1. What problems does Robin Hood have? What issues need to be addressed? 2. Do Robin Hood and the Merrymen need a new mission? new objectives? a new strategy?

In the second year of the insurrection against the Sheriff of Nottingham, the tide of events is turning against Robin Hood and his men. The revolt, which began as a personal crusade inspired by anger, is feeling the consequences of not having a long term strategy or plan. In order to be successful, key changes are necessary for Robin Hood and the Merrymen. Robin Hood faces a myriad of problems that can potentially influence the changes that are crucial for Robin’s organization, as well as affect the effectiveness of the insurrection. As the CEO of his organization, Robin has the responsibility to act in the best interest of the Merrymen as a whole and not let personal grievances compromise his judgment. Robin Hood’s opposition to the Sheriff and Prince John make him the face of the revolt, and consequently, cause the ranks of the Merrymen swell. With so many men and too few tasks or jobs, a majority of the Merrymen lounge around the camp talking and playing games—not vigilant as their training teaches them to be. As part of Robin Hood’s organizational structure, Little John keeps discipline among the men; however, since the number of Merrymen keeps growing it is increasingly difficult for the lieutenant to discipline the men. Likewise, the growing band exceeding the food capacity of the forest, game is the forest is scarce, and the band is purchasing supplies from outlying villages to account for the forest’s deficiencies. The cost of buying food and supplies drains the financial reserves of the band, and considering that revenues are declining as travelers start to avoid Sherwood, there is the possibility that the band will burn through the reserves quickly. Additionally, the Sheriff is growing stronger and recruiting more men. For Robin Hood, this means that any decision he makes needs to happen rapidly. The primary issue, and the major problem currently facing Robin Hood, is that Robin’s revenues are declining because he cannot steal from the rich since they now avoid the forest. With no cash inflows, Robin will quickly consume his financial reserves and will not be able to purchase food, pay his men, or continue to outfit and provision the band. Consequently, this will leave Robin Hood and his band susceptible to attacks from a Sheriff that is getting stronger, recruiting more men, and receiving financial backing. Therefore, in order for the revolt to succeed, Robin Hood and the Merrymen do need to establish a new mission, new objectives, and a new strategy to achieve their goals.

3. What strategic options does Robin Hood have? Is continuing with the present strategy an option or is the present strategy obsolete?

The potential strategic options of Robin Hood are to continue on with no major changes, to institute a fixed transit tax, to pursue geographic expansion, to try to kill the Sheriff, or to accept the barons’ offer. While continuing with the present strategy and “stealing from the rich to give to the poor” is a viable option, it has more future negative consequences than positive ones. The mere fact that the Merrymen are growing at such a fast pace suggests that the present strategy is beginning to be obsolete, and furthermore, travelers are wiser and are avoiding Sherwood Forest altogether. This means that Robin Hood’s and the band’s revenue will decrease and they will not be able to continue to operate and keep the insurrection alive.

4. Why not try to end the campaign by killing the Sheriff?
Killing the Sheriff would not end the campaign because it has grown beyond the scope of just the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s increased power decrease the chances of success. While removing the Sheriff is the innovation that helped form the Merrymen, it has transformed into its own entity. The death of the sheriff would result in only fulfilling the...
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