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Fairness in franchisor–franchisee relationship: an integrative perspective

Ateeque Shaikh (National Institute of Bank Management, Pune, India)
Dheeraj Sharma (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Akshaya Vijayalakshmi (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Rama Shankar Yadav (Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Haryana, India)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 8 May 2018




This paper aims to elucidate and extend the concept of power and fairness in the context of franchisor–franchisee relationship.


On the basis of Dul and Hak’s (2007) recommendations, the conceptual model is developed from closely related domains (e.g. channel relationship) using pertinent theories. On the basis of this comprehensive analysis, new propositions about fairness in a franchisee–franchisor context are drawn. The primary purpose of this research is to conceptually and theoretically further the understanding of antecedents and consequences of fairness in a franchisor–franchisee relationship context by proffering a framework. Finally, this study examines the concept of fairness of its antecedents and moderators that have received scant attention in the context of franchising research.


This study contends that non-coercive power is perceived fairly. Also, coercive power that is legitimate is perceived fairly. However, coercive power that is illegitimate can be detrimental to relationships between franchisee and franchisor. Furthermore, a franchisee who perceives the relationship to be fair is likely to place more trust in relationship, is more satisfied with relationship and is less likely to be opportunistic. Finally, the study contends that these relationship outcomes are dependent on the franchisee’s personality traits.

Research limitations/implications

One major limitation of this study is that the propositions have not been empirically tested. However, this paper cites several business cases that have been used to support the propositions proffered in the study. Our conceptual model supported by previous theoretical findings and industry cases suggests that it is important to focus on social dimensions along with economic costs of a franchisor–franchisee relationship. Future researchers may empirically examine the relationships posited in this study by using the primary industry data.


This paper takes a comprehensive view of various social constructs affecting a franchisor–franchisee relationship. It also highlights the role of individual personality factors in a franchisor–franchisee relationship, extends prior work on relational dimensions from channels to the franchising context and provides managerial conclusions.



Shaikh, A., Sharma, D., Vijayalakshmi, A. and Yadav, R.S. (2018), "Fairness in franchisor–franchisee relationship: an integrative perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 550-562.



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