Deer Creek Land Development (DCLD)

Kalinga Jagoda (Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada)
Bharat Maheshwari (Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)
Gregory Gutowski (Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada)

International Journal of Commerce and Management

ISSN: 1056-9219

Publication date: 22 June 2012



The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the experiences of a small business, Deer Creek Land Developments (DCLD), which has been very successful in negotiating the competitive pressures in a mature industry over time and has built sustainable competitive advantage. The firm has been quite successfully navigating the ups and downs of the market. The case provides an excellent example of how small businesses can open their business models to respond to changes in the external environment, such as an economic downturn, and/or simply to grow.


The paper uses a single case study approach. Detailed interviews of the owner and the manager were used to collect data for the case study.


DCLD's success is found to be hinged on its ability to consistently enhance operational efficiencies, move to higher valuations by adopting an open business model that exploits core in‐house capabilities and those acquired through contractors and partner organizations.

Practical implications

The paper provides several interesting insights useful for small business managers and entrepreneurs. Small businesses can use openness of both types, as demonstrated in the case, to create strategic differentiation and also to reduce operating costs.


This paper initiates a rich field enquiry, which provides some interesting insights to small business managers. The case study is used to demonstrate how a small business can effectively use an open business model to negotiate competitive and environmental pressures.



Jagoda, K., Maheshwari, B. and Gutowski, G. (2012), "Deer Creek Land Development (DCLD)", International Journal of Commerce and Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 133-144.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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