Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Alice D. Gobeille

Abstract

Inadequate environmental scanning, poor financial strategy, and misaligned customer focus are responsible for 79% of retail profitability losses. The purpose of the qualitative study using a multiple-case study design was to explore the strategies needed to align financial strategy with customer-oriented processes in the retail industry. The research question involved understanding trends and operational risks influencing the establishment of financial alignment strategies. Porter's five forces model of customer influence, Pearce's environmental and economic factors affecting society values, and Albright's strategic planning of environmental influence served as the theoretical foundations for the study. 30 executives, managers, and team leaders in 2 Midwest U.S. organizations completed interviews. Interview data were coded for emergent themes. Themes included advanced strategic planning, improved customer-buying power, enhanced business viability, and reduced business uncertainties as components of a guiding strategy needed to align financial strategy with customer-oriented processes. Implications for positive social change include increased profitability that can result in improved employment opportunities.