Original Paper

Review of Managerial Science

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 443-473

First online:

Resolving conflict over salespeople’s brand adoption in franchised channels of distribution

  • Thomas RajabAffiliated withThe Boston Consulting Group Email author 
  • , Florian KrausAffiliated withDr. Werner Jackstädt Endowed Chair of Business Administration and Marketing IV, University of Mannheim, Schloss
  • , Jan WiesekeAffiliated withDepartment of Marketing, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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Abstract

Many franchise-based retail outlets offer both the franchisor-owned brand and brands of competitors or independent suppliers. As salespeople may influence customers’ brand choices considerably, an important concern for franchisors is how to raise salespeople’s selling preferences for the franchisor-owned brand. However, the channel administration literature suggests that salespeople may not automatically favor the franchisor’s brand over other brand lines. While a large body of research examines franchise–channel relationships, previous investigations have conspicuously overlooked this channel conflict. In proposing a conceptual model grounded in the behavioral sciences, this study analyzes how franchisors can induce salespeople to advocate their brand by fostering the intention to promote the franchisor-owned brand (IFOB) in customer interaction. The results of an empirical field study show that individual brand promotion depends on factors such as salespeople’s identification with the franchisor and their tenure with the organization, as well as on the franchisor’s prestige and administration of the franchise. Moreover, we find that franchisees’ IFOB transfers to salespeople, but only if franchisees display a charismatic leadership style. We discuss these findings in light of extant theory and empirical evidence and derive several managerially relevant implications for the administration of franchised retail channels.

Keywords

Sales management Franchising Channel relationships Own brands Hierarchical linear modeling

JEL Classification

M12 M19 M39