FRANCHISEE ASSOCIATION AND ITS MEDIATION OF RELATIONSHIP

ABSTRACT Purpose: The objective of this research is to understand the actions undertaken by Franchisee Associations (FAs). We aimed to: 1. identify the role played by FAs regarding their relationship with franchisors; 2. understand conflict procedures alongside with franchisors (by means of FAs); and 3. identify FA's abilities to play a relevant governance role in franchisee-franchisor relationships. Originality/gap/relevance/implications: This research complements the researches of Dandridge and Falbe (1994), Cochet and Ehrmann (2007), Lawrence and Kaufmann (2010, 2012), bringing up other perspectives regarding practices in managing relationships, and governance methods proposed by the FA, which are aspects not deeply analyzed in other FA studies. Key methodological aspects: Qualitative research with multiple case studies involving data triangulation. The sample of this study comprised the franchise chain Skill Idiomas, and the interviews involved four Directors, six Franchisees and the Skill franchisor Executive. Summary of key results: There is a strong sense of trust only among some of the network members, as well as a partial cooperation among them. With reference to the governance, one may point out that the rules and the penalties that compose their policies are well known and applied. The influence of the leaders that form the association's board of directors and the voting process in FAs is a determining factor for the resolution of conflicts. Key considerations/conclusions: The lack of trust represented by the other part of the association board and the franchisees indicate that most part of the involved actors does not trust the network of the association. The influence of leaders that compose the membership of the Board was a determining factor in conflict resolution. The way of governance exercised by the FA is applied for all members when rules are infringed.