Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

August 1994


The purpose of this study was to forecast what the competitive retail environment will resemble in the grocery industry in the year 2010, what measures a company must take to prepare to compete in the predicted environment, and what internal organizational structure will help to facilitate a company's competitive strategy in 2010. The study was conducted using the Delphi Technique. It is a forecasting mechanism designed to build consensus using an expert Delphi Committee. The committee consisted of 55 professionals representing many fields closely associated with the grocery industry: retailing, wholesaling, manufacturing, labor, academe, fresh meat and produce, labor, relations, food industry associations, nutritionists, consumer advocates, and agribusiness. Two sequential survey instruments were utilized. Round 1 solicited narrative answers to 20 board questions related to the grocery supermarket industry. Round 2 was a 38 item instrument that was constructed using the material generated by the committee in their Round 1 answers. A Likert-type scale and probability factor were employed to determine agreement and establish the likelihood of the event occurring by 2010. The study concluded that the grocery industry can expect some major changes in the next 15 years. Some of the significant findings were: super-stores will likely dominate as the format where people conduct their bulk shopping; small neighborhood stores, selling high quality, fresh, prepared, and/or ethnic food, will develop as the convenient option to the larger stores; the utilization of advanced technology to improve efficiencies will be an important part of a company's business plan; and, flatter organizations that emphasize cross-functional teams and empower people at all levels will be the most successful. The study will help companies in the grocery supermarket industry determine what measures they need to take to remain viable in the year 2010 and begin planning for a long-range strategy.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted