Q25- Robin Hood versus the Sheriff of Nottingham

The concept of glocality and counter-glocality (see my previous blog about “More Power to Glocals!”) can be applied to situations where the scope or reach of power of an actor does not overlap with the scope or reach of his beneficiaries. Two different and separate groups or publics are involved. The net effect of this behavior pattern is what economists call “transfer” of resources.

A popular example is transfer of resources from the many to the few (=Sheriff of Nottingham model) and transfer of resources from the few to the many (=Robin Hood model), where — unlike glocals and counter-glocals — the few is not a subset of the many. I discussed these two models in a paper on “Information Technology and Security in the 21st Century” at the Asia-Pacific Security Forum Conference in Taipei, Taiwan in December 1999.


Actually, the two models are not opposites. Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham share something in common: both did not create value; they merely transferred resources from one economic entity to another. Other examples of transfers are: robbery, burglary, pyramidal financial scams, taxes, government subsidies, B lost something and finder A keeps it, casinos, gambling, dole-outs, charitable philanthropy, gifts, donations, grants, etc.

A way to visualize the small difference between “Robin Hood” behaviors and “Sheriff of Nottingham” behaviors is to create a Value Creation Scale where mere transfers of resources are in the middle between value destruction and value creation behaviors:


Using this scale, we can now better appreciate where the two models lie:


I will provide more illustrative examples of using the Value Creation Scale in my next blog post. See you soon!

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