An Essay on the Phenomenology of Franchising

Franchising is an economic relationship between two independent actors, the franchisor and the franchisee. As such, it lends itself to the application of economic models (agency theory, theory of incomplete contracts, transaction costs, etc.) or managerial concepts (theory of stakeholders, empowerment, creativity management, etc.). But Dant (2008; Dant et al., 2011) pointed out that this complex relationship was lacking of a real phenomenology. This article attempts to produce this phenomenology in the form of an ordered layering of descriptions: a minimal description (an economic relationship between two agents who find their interest in it), then elements of complexification (an unbalanced economic relationship, a relationship other than economic, multi-level, networked, agonistic). Finally, the dynamic scenarios of the franchise relationship are identified.