Because franchising is a popular and important business alternative, we propose that concerted effort be taken by organization scientists to develop and test theoretical perspectives relevant to this business form. Rather than risk “reinventing the wheel”, researchers should first consider findings from outside the franchising arena to assess their generalizability to franchisors. To this end, three common configurations of franchise organization are described and placed within Mintzberg’s (1979) framework, and the logic linking various organization, strategy, and environment features into an harmonious configuration is presented with respect to each. This configuration view is used to describe franchise organization transitions, and propositions to guide future study of franchise organizations are presented. Thus, both franchising and organization theory are extended by showing how the franchising phenomenon fits into a general perspective on organizations.
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