Grey Oaks Business Plan Bridges Community and Classroom | Hodges University

Grey Oaks Business Plan Bridges Community and Classroom

Hodges University News

After six years of diligent research and academic revisions, Hodges University’s Johnson School of Business published “A Case Study of the Grey Oaks Community and Club: Creation of a High-Performance Culture Through the Innovative Use of a Data-Driven Business Plan” in the International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration.

Written by Dana Dickason (Fulker), a Hodges alumna; Dr. Aysegul Timur, dean of the Johnson School of Business; Dr. Katherine Dew, professor of business administration at Hodges; and Jim Butler, general manager at Grey Oaks, the case study analyzes the strategic business plan created by the Grey Oaks management team, which enabled Grey Oaks to thrive during the economic downturn of 2008.

“It’s all about creating learning communities and showing relevancy to the community and the world,” said Timur. “Hodges is so integrated into the community, and as professors, we want to reflect what is happening in our community into the classroom.”

Many golf communities suffered a tremendous loss as a result of the 2008 economic crisis; however, Grey Oaks, a premier country club and residential community in Naples, Fla., implemented a strategic plan in anticipation of the downturn. “We were able to make financial and staff decisions from a planning standpoint and not a reactionary standpoint,” said Butler. “We thankfully had no significant debt, and we continued to provide quality goods and services, which our residents valued, and it resulted in us not having to reduce joining fees or prices,” he added.

Dickason, who was a business major at Hodges and student of Timur at the time, was approached by Timur to work on the Grey Oaks case as a “directed study” in her senior year. “I was running a property management company at the time, and to be able to work on this case study really opened my eyes to different management and leadership techniques, which helped me in my own business,” said Dickason.

Dew, who has won several awards, as well as written and reviewed various case studies throughout her career, along with Timur and Butler, aided Dickason in her research, organization and writing of the case study, saying, “Dana was a diligent, organized, poised and bright student. She was fearless in getting the information she needed and was able to really think through things when researching.”

The faculty at Hodges University express a genuine interest in providing opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty on projects such as case studies. “Students who participate in these case studies become more mature and capable of pulling ambiguous pieces of information together in order to create an outcome,” said Dew. Timur went on to add, “Students are able to build networks and learn real-world practices. Additionally, they get to have their work published, which provides great opportunity when added to their resume.”

As a result of her work on the case study, Dickason experienced immediate results at her workplace, saying, “I received promotions and raises, instituted changes that helped to make my employees more engaged and was able to write our company’s mission statement, which is read at the beginning of every meeting.”

“We would like to thank Mr. Butler for his involvement and guidance, Mr. Jan Kantor, owner of Success Systems who provided consulting services to the Grey Oaks development, for encouraging and supporting this case, as well as Judy and Katie Sproul, developers of Grey Oaks, for approving the study,” said Timur.

Read the published case study in its entirety.

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