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The moderating influence of HR operational autonomy on the entrepreneurial orientation–performance link in franchise systems

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This study investigates the concept of HR Operational Autonomy, i.e., the freedom a franchisor offers to franchisees throughout the system with regards to their creation of HR practices. It is shown to have a significant positive moderating effect on the EO-performance link among UK franchise systems, explaining over 20 % of the variance in performance outcomes. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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  1. 1.

    This paper focuses on business format franchising, which “occurs when a firm (the franchisor) sells the right to use its trade name, operating systems, and product specifications to another firm (the franchisee)” (Castrogiovanni et al. 2006, p.27-28).

  2. 2.

    It should be noted that a recent study of thought leaders in entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (Ketchen et al. 2011) revealed that perceptions were split on the question as to whether franchisees are entrepreneurs, although the majority considered franchisors to be entrepreneurs.


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Dada gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the U.K., grant number PTA-026-27-1853.

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Correspondence to Marko Grünhagen.

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Grünhagen, M., Wollan, M.L., Dada, O. et al. The moderating influence of HR operational autonomy on the entrepreneurial orientation–performance link in franchise systems. Int Entrep Manag J 10, 827–844 (2014).

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  • Human resources
  • HR
  • Operational autonomy
  • Entrepreneurial orientation
  • Performance