Know-how transfer mechanisms in franchise networks: a study of franchisee perceptions

Abstract

Know-how is a critical element of franchising, and its transfer is a key issue for franchisors and their staff. The aim of this paper was to analyse franchisees’ perceptions about know-how transfer in franchise networks. Findings of our qualitative empirical study show that franchisees seem to value the mechanisms used in their network, which include formalised processes (the operations manual, online tools), training (initial and ongoing) and social mechanisms (discovery sessions, meetings and committees). Only the effectiveness of on-field consultants is questioned, which leads to important managerial implications. At the theoretical level, the paper contributes to our understanding of franchise operations by providing a franchisee-centred model of how knowledge is created and disseminated in the networks.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the French National Research Agency (ref: FRANBLE – ANR-12-BSH1-0011-01), as well as the Center in Franchising, Retail & Service Chains for their valuable support.

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Correspondence to Rozenn Perrigot.

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Perrigot, R., Herrbach, O., Cliquet, G. et al. Know-how transfer mechanisms in franchise networks: a study of franchisee perceptions. Knowl Manage Res Pract 15, 272–281 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41275-017-0051-0

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Keywords

  • Franchise networks
  • Know-how
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Franchisee perceptions