Purpose: The rapid growth of the Australian franchising sector since the 1980s has been accompanied by tension, conflict and disputation, causing concern for regulatory bodies. However, little is currently known about the antecedents of conflict in franchising, thus, the purpose of this paper is to address this deficiency by exploring the antecedent factors associated with conflict in this domain. Design/methodology/approach: A series of 11 multiple case studies, involving 30 protocol discussions with franchisors and franchisees, was undertaken across a variety of franchise systems in order to explore the topic and to refine the research question and develop hypotheses for the next stage of the research. Findings: A number of themes emerged from the qualitative investigation which led to the development of 12 research propositions that include constructs such as expectations confirmation, trust, openness, perceived support and relationship satisfaction in attempting to explain the antecedent causes of conflict in franchising. Research limitations/implications: The qualitative nature of this research has provided rich information that will inform future confirmatory research via quantitative methods through hypotheses testing. Thus, the findings provide a solid framework for future investigations in this important research domain. Originality/value: The contribution of this research is significant in that it provides unique knowledge regarding the complex issues surrounding conflict in franchising. Furthermore, it informs future research with regards to the dynamics of conflict in this area.
- Channel relationships
- Franchising relationships