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Researcher Aims To Produce Ground-Breaking Franchise Study

UC Researcher Seeking To Produce Ground-Breaking Franchise Study This Year

February 14, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) researcher is aiming to provide ground-breaking work this year looking in detail at how business franchises start up.

UC postgraduate student Faith Jeremiah says little is understood about early stage franchise development. New Zealand is the most franchised nation in the world per capita and she wants to find out why they thrive in this country.

In total, New Zealand has 423 active franchise systems and despite the economic downturn, the total number of franchises increased by 5.3 percent in 2010. The franchise sector employs over 80,000 people, mostly full-time.

``Franchising is one of the most rapidly developing business models in New Zealand and internationally, which makes this study fairly significant. I aim to examine in depth the impact of psycho-social dimensions at the most critical point of franchisors’ business development process in order to firm up understanding of the relationship between the start-up stage and business longevity.

``The study will look at franchises across the business sector and explore issues relating to franchise development. It will focus on practice, identity, motivation, aspiration, business history, social network development, engagement and subsequent business growth and sustainability.

``I’ll be trawling through business plans, marketing materials and webpages. I will also listen to franchisors and associated key stakeholders. From all this I’ll develop a conceptual model for a franchise start-up.

``The findings are likely to be of interest to intending franchisors, franchisees, financial institutions, tertiary education institutions providing entrepreneurship education and agencies seeking to encourage and support economic development.

``The start-up stage is understood to be the most important stage to ensure the appropriate groundwork is done for a franchise's longevity.’’

Jeremiah said research suggested that franchises failed because of inappropriate groundwork and lack of suitable planning.

Jeremiah graduated top of her management class last year, earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree with first class honours. She will carry out her postgraduate research under supervising lecturer Associate Professor Colleen Mills.

ENDS

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