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Understanding franchisee performance: The role of the franchisee’s autonomy, affective commitment to the network and innovativeness

Enrico Colla (Department of Marketing, ESCP Europe, Paris, France)
Maria Eugenia Ruiz-Molina (Faculty of Economics, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Catherine Chastenet De Gery (Department of Management, ESCP Europe, Paris, France)
Maryline Schultz (CREGO, Universite de Bourgogne, Dijon, France)
Martine Deparis (Novancia Business School Paris, Paris, France)
Laurence Lemmet (Department of Economics, Law and Social Sciences, ESCP Europe, Paris, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 23 November 2018

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of participative franchising on performance from the franchisee perspective. In particular, the paper analyses the impact of the franchisee autonomy – in human resource management and marketing decisions – affective commitment to the network and network innovativeness on the franchisee relative performance.


A survey answered by 226 franchisees in France allowed to estimate a structural equations model through partial least squares regression analysis to test the hypothesised relations between autonomy, affective commitment, innovativeness and performance.


According to the authors’ findings, franchisee’s autonomy in commercial policies, mediated by to franchisor’s ability to innovate and acknowledge innovations stemming from the franchisees, and the affective commitment to the network, emerge as strong determinants of the franchisee’s performance.

Research limitations/implications

The results confirm the conclusions of other research, but extend and integrate them, providing evidence that the role of participative franchising should not be neglected.

Practical implications

The results obtained provide evidence about the importance of bidirectional communication instruments in the relations between franchisor and franchisee, and participation tools for the identification, recognition and support to the innovative successful practices developed by franchisees to be quickly implemented by other franchisees in the network.


This paper looks at franchisee autonomy, affective commitment and innovativeness as potential determinants of franchisee’s performance, being the latter an underexplored topic.



The authors thank the Fédération Française de la Franchise (FFF) for having sponsored and partly funded this project and supported them for the data collection.


Colla, E., Ruiz-Molina, M.E., Chastenet De Gery, C., Schultz, M., Deparis, M. and Lemmet, L. (2019), "Understanding franchisee performance: The role of the franchisee’s autonomy, affective commitment to the network and innovativeness", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 47 No. 7, pp. 733-751.



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