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Control Modes in International Service Operations: The Propensity to Franchise


  • Karin Fladmoe-Lindquist

    (David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112)

  • Laurent L. Jacque

    (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155 and Groupe HEC, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France)


What determines a service firm's organizational choice between equity-based control and franchising? This question, which has elicited some theoretical answers and a few empirical tests in a domestic setting, has never been addressed in an international context before. This study explains the mode of control chosen in terms of a theoretical framework which borrows from agency theory and transaction cost analysis. The propensity to franchise internationally was found to be directly related to (i) monitoring costs associated with geographical and "cultural" distance between the principal (franchisor) and its foreign agents (franchisees), (ii) the principal's international experience, and (iii) the degree of host countries' contextual uncertainty but inversely related to the service firm level of brand name asset specificity.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Fladmoe-Lindquist & Laurent L. Jacque, 1995. "Control Modes in International Service Operations: The Propensity to Franchise," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(7), pages 1238-1249, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:7:p:1238-1249

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    international services; franchising; strategy;


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