IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Entrepreneurial signaling to attract resources: the case of franchising


  • Steven C. Michael

    (College of Business, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA)


Why firms and individuals reveal information is the subject of considerable theoretical research, but little empirical work has been possible due to a lack of suitable data. In this paper we examine why entrepreneurs selling business opportunities (franchisors) reveal information regarding potential profits (termed earnings claims). Empirical analysis shows that: first, contrary to theory, only a small percentage of franchisors claim; and, second, the franchisors that do claim have lower costs or are responding to competition. In particular, the prediction of theoretical models from economics that resource providers will not transact if information is not disclosed is not supported; resource providers can and do make significant investments even when entrepreneurs refuse to disclose information. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven C. Michael, 2009. "Entrepreneurial signaling to attract resources: the case of franchising," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 405-422.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:405-422 DOI: 10.1002/mde.1460

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph Farrell, 1985. "Voluntary Disclosure: Robustness of the Unraveling Result, and Comments on Its Importance," Working papers 374, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Janney, Jay J. & Folta, Timothy B., 2006. "Moderating effects of investor experience on the signaling value of private equity placements," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 27-44, January.
    3. Gallini, Nancy T & Lutz, Nancy A, 1992. "Dual Distribution and Royalty Fees in Franchising," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 471-501, October.
    4. Katz, Barbara G. & Joel Owen, 1992. "On the existence of franchise contracts and some of their implications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 567-593, December.
    5. Kaufmann, Patrick J., 1999. "Franchising and the choice of self-employment," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 345-362, July.
    6. Golan, Amos & Judge, George & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Estimating the Size Distribution of Firms Using Government Summary Statistics," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 69-80, March.
    7. Lafontaine, Francine, 1993. "Contractual Arrangements as Signaling Devices: Evidence from Franchising," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 256-289, October.
    8. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 460-501, June.
    9. Caves, Richard E, 1986. "Information Structures of Product Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(2), pages 195-212, April.
    10. Michael, Steven C. & Moore, Hollie J., 1995. "Returns to franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 133-155, October.
    11. Richard J. Gilbert & Marvin Lieberman, 1987. "Investment and Coordination in Oligopolistic Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    12. Insuk Cheong & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2004. "Costly Information Disclosure in Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 121-132, March.
    13. Michael, Steven C., 1996. "To franchise or not to franchise: An analysis of decision rights and organizational form shares," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 57-71, January.
    14. Lafontaine, Francine & Bhattacharyya, Sugato, 1995. "The role of risk in franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 39-74, October.
    15. Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "The Theory of the Firm and the Structure of the Franchise Contract," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 223-233, April.
    16. Davila, Antonio & Foster, George & Gupta, Mahendra, 2003. "Venture capital financing and the growth of startup firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 689-708, November.
    17. Kwoka, John E, Jr, 1979. "The Effect of Market Share Distribution on Industry Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 101-109, February.
    18. Janney, Jay J. & Folta, Timothy B., 2003. "Signaling through private equity placements and its impact on the valuation of biotechnology firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 361-380, May.
    19. Kaufmann, Patrick J. & Dant, Rajiv P., 1999. "Franchising and the domain of entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 5-16, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dominique Bonet Fernandez & Odile Chanut & François Fulconis & Carole Poirel & Gilles Paché, 2014. "La réactivité des réseaux de franchise face aux chocs externes : proposition d’un modèle conceptuel," Working Papers 2014-163, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    2. Gonzalez-Diaz, Manuel & Solis-Rodriguez, Vanesa, 2012. "Why do entrepreneurs use franchising as a financial tool? An agency explanation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 325-341.
    3. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:4:p:756-771 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:175-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ivan Kotliarov, 2011. "Royalty Rate Structure in Case of Franchising," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(1), pages 139-156, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:6:p:405-422. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.