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Can CRM survive integrating franchisees with a corporate giant?

Kelley O'Reilly (Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)
David Paper (Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 12 July 2011




A paucity of literature considers a growing trend within the retail space whereby franchise companies and their franchisees market and sell products and services across multiple channels, including company‐owned retail stores. This case study aims to explore the processes used to support the customer experience, the control mechanisms that are in place, and the channels by which these customer‐company interactions occur.


A qualitative approach employing an adaptation of the grounded theory method for data collection, coding, and analysis was used and this study specifically focused on an international van‐based service franchise during the integration of the franchise company's service into the retail brick‐and‐mortar locations of the parent company. Participants included retail employees of the parent company, franchise company support staff, franchisees, and third‐party call center agents working for the parent company.


Findings suggest a relationship exists between the alignment of the internal factors of the customer relationship management (CRM) experience (e.g. people, processes, and technology) and the relative strength or weakness of each external factor (e.g. customer, company, and competition). Moreover, it is postulated that weaker customer‐centric service results in greater misalignment of internal factors and leads to larger service variability, or sub‐optimized CRM.


The unique contribution of this research is the juxtaposition of the disparate marketing approaches of the parent company and franchisees and the subsequent impact on CRM efforts of the company. A conceptual model of internal and external factors of the CRM experience is presented.



O'Reilly, K. and Paper, D. (2011), "Can CRM survive integrating franchisees with a corporate giant?", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 47-73.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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