Franchise systems aim to capitalize on both economies of scale and the benefits derived from localized operations. Although franchisees can be considered small businesses with some independence and local knowledge, compliance with system standardization may be critical to achieving scale benefits, as well as realizing and then maintaining the desired image during the growth stage of the franchise life cycle. However, standardization requirements from the franchisor demand that franchisees make specific investments in the system, which make franchisees more vulnerable to the franchisor. Therefore, whether a franchisee can trust the franchisor becomes an important factor that facilitates the relationship between standardization requirements and franchisees' overall sales and service performance in the market. This research focuses on franchisees in a growing franchise system and examines how the standardization requirements, trust in the franchisor, and the interaction term affect the sales and service performance of a franchisee and ultimately the franchisee's satisfaction. The findings support the hypotheses that, first, the standardization requirements positively affect both sales and service performance. Second, trust not only has main effects on satisfaction and performance constructs but also moderates positively the relationships between standardization requirements and sales/service performance.
Journal of Small Business Management,53(1),129-144