Time will tell: interaction effects of franchising percentages and age on franchisor mortality rates
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- Dobbs, M.E., Boggs, D.J., Grünhagen, M. et al. Int Entrep Manag J (2014) 10: 607. doi:10.1007/s11365-012-0245-0
Drawing from franchising and organizational ecology literatures, we hypothesize that franchising provides benefits to franchisors by addressing issues of adverse selection, moral hazard, holdup, obsolescence, and senescence. We assert that, over time, these benefits increase such that the more a franchise chain utilizes franchisees rather than company-owned outlets, the greater the franchising benefits accrue to the franchisor. We test our propositions by studying the mortality rates of 393 franchise organizations in the U.S. automotive products and services sector over the 21-year time period 1985–2005, using proportional hazard analysis. We find that older franchise chains with higher percentages of franchised units have lower mortality rates than older franchise chains with lower percentages of franchised units. We also find that younger franchise chains with higher percentages of franchised units have higher mortality rates than younger franchise chains with lower percentages of franchised units.