Decaf or double shot? The strength of franchisor control over HRM in coffee franchises
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The franchise relationship presents a unique composition of autonomy and control. Franchisee autonomy is located somewhere between employed managers and independent business owners, while the franchisor regulates core processes such as marketing and product development. While heavy franchisor control over certain functions is customary and in fact integral to the franchise model, the delineation of HRM responsibilities in the franchise relationship is less clear. Using qualitative data from three Australian coffee chains, we examine the role of the corporate HR and the degree to which HRM activities are centralised, and develop a typology of franchisor HRM control. We find substantial variation between cases and demonstrate that it is the franchisor's strategic decision to prioritise brand protection or liability avoidance that ultimately determines whether their control over HRM can be described as 'decaf' weak or 'double shot' strength.
Human Resource Management Journal
Human Resources Management