Innovation by stealth: Paths to innovativeness in franchise networks

  • Watson, Anna (PI)

Project: Other

Project Details


Franchising “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, 27-28). Most franchises, although founded through innovation, quickly drop an innovation logic for efficiency as they replicate standardised systems across geographic markets (Kaufmann and Eroglu 1999) to enable a consistent customer experience. Importantly, such standardisation influences the ability to innovate within the franchise. Extant literature suggests that franchisees may engage in innovative behaviours, but little is known on how franchising limits this process. Using multiple case studies, we explore franchise constraints and the ways franchisees innovate by stealth (without the franchisor’s knowledge) through acts of ingenuity and resourcefulness, through an application of bricolage theory. This underresearched area is crucial because franchise networks may supress growth and erode brand and market share by not supporting and understanding franchisees' innovative activities.
Effective start/end date8/09/171/10/18


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