Case study- Robin Hood

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MN1007-Management and Organisational Behaviour

Assignment Number 2

Robin Hood

- Identification of the problems and rationale for their prioritisation

- Use of appropriate theoretical models

- Evidence of imagination in identifying the options available

- Development of a realistic strategy and implementation proposal

Robin Hood's insurrection began as a personal crusade against the High Sheriff of Nottingham and his administration. His band of men was a small disciplined group united against the Sheriff. However, Robin changed his recruiting tactics believing that strength was in number. This hierarchy change brought about many problems which hindered Robin's success of his campaign.

The small disciplined group of men could fall under the definition by Schein of a formal organisation "the planned co-ordination of the activities of a number of people for the achievement of some common, explicit purpose or goal, through the division of labour and function, and through a hierarchy of authority and responsibility." (Mullins, 2003)

It was easier for Robin to oversee the management of a small group of men as he personally recruited, the men he knew their strengths and weaknesses.

As the success of Robin Hood's campaign grew more men joined him and soon Robin took all who came to him without asking many questions. This created many problems both internally and externally.

Internally, as human resources increased the number of lieutenants he would need to effectively manage the group would need to be increased. Groups need to be carefully managed as problems could arise. For example, informal hierarchies and leaders might start to appear which could slowly break down the chain of command. The task of discipline was delegated to Little John, but as the band grew this would become harder to enforce. Also, trust and loyalty will become an issue, especially for a group of outlaws. Robin is becoming more aware of these issues by reflecting "I don't know half of the men I run into these days."

Externally, the resources needed to support the group were in decline. The number of men began to exceed the food capacity of the forest. This meant that the long-term survival of the band would soon be at risk, as the case study clearly states game was becoming scarce within the forest and food had to be brought to the encampment by cart from the forest's outlying villages. Also, the band has become so large that what began as a small gathering had become a major encampment that could be detected miles away. This puts the secrecy of band in jeopardy.

Another problem confronted Robin, while the band was getting larger; their main source of revenue was in decline. Travellers were beginning to give the forest a wide birth. An alternative solution would have to be found to gain satisfactory amounts of income for the band.

Robin knew that the High Sheriff of Nottingham was growing stronger and that he had a lot more resources available to him. Robin also knew that there was only a remote chance of killing the Sheriff because of the number of men he had or having him removed from office as the sheriff had powerful friends at court.

Robin therefore concluded that the campaign tactics needed to change, or the campaign itself must come to an end.

After identifying the problems that Robin faced it is easier to view the options and solutions that are available. The main problem which is clearly identified is the size of the group, the size of the organisation. It is simply becoming unmanageable, and the huge number of recruits which Robin had under his command made the band inflexible to the changing environment around them, and seems to be at the root of all the problems that Robin and his lieutenants were facing.

The increasing size of the group means that the span of control is drifting too wide. A wide span of control by definition means "it become difficult to supervise subordinates effectively and this...