The Influence of Gratitude on Franchisor-Franchisee Relationships

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Weaven, S
Baker, BL
Dant, RP
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2017
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Abstract

Set within a franchising context that is an integral and significant component of the small business sector, this paper is the first attempt at modeling the sentiment of gratitude, a critical nascent relationship construct, as mediating the linkage between relational norms (as antecedents) and relationship quality constructs (as consequents). Data from a sample of 439 Australian franchisees are used to test the hypotheses. Relational norms were captured using the well‐accepted taxonomy of solidarity, flexibility, and mutuality, and relationship quality was conceptualized in terms of its constituent constructs of trust, commitment, and relationship satisfaction. Structural equation modeling was used to test the six hypothesized relationships. Results show that all six hypotheses are supported, that is, relational norms significantly and positively affect the emergence of gratitude, and in turn, gratitude significantly and positively influences the relationship quality constructs of trust, commitment, and relationship satisfaction. Managerial implications for the franchising industry in particular and small businesses in general are discussed.

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Journal of Small Business Management

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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.

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Marketing

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