Franchising microbusinesses: coupling identity undoing and boundary objects (2020)
AuthorsMills CE, Jeremiah Fshow all
Purpose: This study presents an original empirically-based conceptual framework representing mobile microbusiness founders’ experiences when converting to a franchise business model that links individual-level variables to a sociomaterial process. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory interpretive research design produced this framework using data from the enterprise development narratives of mobile franchisors’ who had recently converted their mobile microbusinesses to a franchise business model. Findings: The emergent framework proposes that franchisor’s conversion experience involves substantial identity work prompted by an identity dilemma originating in a conflict between role expectations and franchising operational demands. This dilemma materializes during franchise document creation and requires some degree of ‘identity undoing’ to ensure business continuity. By acting as boundary-objects-in-use in the conversion process, the franchise documents provide a sociomaterial foundation for the business transition and the development of a viable franchisor identity. Research limitations/implications: There is scant literature addressing the startup experiences of mobile microbusiness franchisors. The study was therefore exploratory, producing a substantive conceptual framework that will require further confirmatory studies.Practical implications: By proposing that conversion to a franchise business model is experienced as an identity transformation coupled to a sociomaterial process centred on system documentation, this original empirically-based conceptual framework not only addresses a gap in the individual-level literature on franchise development but provides a framework to direct new research and discussions between intending franchisors and their professional advisors about person-enterprise fit. Originality: The conceptual framework is the first to address franchisors’ experience of transitioning any type of microbusiness to a franchise business model.
CitationMills CE, Jeremiah F (2020). Franchising microbusinesses: coupling identity undoing and boundary objects. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print).
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