Toward a model of franchisee entrepreneurship
This study provides a deeper understanding of the relevance of the entrepreneurship phenomenon to the franchisee context. A number of studies have echoed that the franchisee plays an important role in the generation of new ideas and innovations for the franchise system but we still do not know how franchisees maximize their entrepreneurial behaviors without jeopardizing the desires for standardization and uniformity, which are building blocks of franchising. We address this research question, using evidence from multiple case studies of UK-based franchisees. The study reveals patterns that were used to develop a theoretical model, which demonstrates the utilization of different forms of formal franchisee networks for maximization of entrepreneurial behaviors through acquisition of relational and informational capital, intra-system competition, and franchisee learning. This study extends the literature on franchising and entrepreneurship, and offers important managerial implications for practitioners. Future research directions are discussed.