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Business Policy (COMM-4005EL) Robin Hood Case Study

Sandra Watson
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Robin Hood Lecture Case Teaching Notes Part 1: Study


Laurentian University


Business Policy (COMM-4005EL)

Robin Hood
This 2-page case is a classic that works great in the classroom. It forces students to think outside the box,
challenging them to analyze Robin Hood’s crusade against the Sheriff of Nottingham in business terms.
As the case unfolds, Robin Hood’s problems are multiplying. His main source of revenue is declining as
travelers are beginning to avoid coming through the forest (The market is in decline! The present strategy has run
out of gas. Does Robin Hood need to expand into new geographic markets to maintain and grow revenues?). Yet,
because the fame of his Merrymen is spreading, new recruits are pouring in. The size of his band is beginning
to exceed the food capacity of the forest and the band’s camp, because of its increasing size, is easier to detect.
Discipline is becoming harder to enforce. (In other words, costs are rising and diseconomies of scale have
set in—Robin Hood is caught in a classic profit squeeze! Moreover, the culture is being eroded because all
the newcomers do not have the same values and beliefs as the original members who had a common bond of
opposing the evil Sheriff and trying to redress grievances of the downtrodden at the hands of the ruling class.
Furthermore, the Sheriff’s forces are growing stronger (i.e., competition is intensifying!). Robin needs an action
plan to deal with the deteriorating situation, and he needs to implement it quick.ly
Suggestions for Using the Case
We positioned this case as the lead off case for the strategy execution section (Chapters 10-12) for three reasons.
One, the case is short—something that students always appreciate. Two, and more importantly, it is an excellent
transition case—there are elements of both crafting strategy and executing the chosen strategy for students to
consider in arriving at their action recommendations. The implementation/execution issues lurking in this case
cut across a wide front—organization, culture, motivation and commitment, policies, control, and leadership.
Some kind of action on Robin Hood’s part is urgently needed—indeed, some pretty big decisions are needed.
The twin issues of “what to do” and “how to achieve good results quickly” are pervasive. Three, in teaching this
case over the years, we’ve seen time and again that the Robin Hood case has all of the ingredients for producing
an exceptionally lively, entertaining



Business Policy (COMM-4005EL) Robin Hood Case Study

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