Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Franchisees' Satisfaction: Preliminary Findings from National Study

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Franchisees' Satisfaction: Preliminary Findings from National Study

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Few investigations on entrepreneurs' satisfaction have been made. This is rather surprising, since satisfaction and its antecedents and organizational outcomes have been a popular topic among organizational behaviorists. "Push", like a job dissatisfaction from the former place of employment has been frequently proposed as weighty factor in the self-employment decision process (see e.g. Cooper 1971; Shapero 1975; Brockhaus 1980a). Also, numerous studies have been done to determine reasons for employee turnover.

In his empirical research, Brockhaus (1980a) found that entrepreneurs generally tended to be significantly less satisfied with their past job than normative population. According to his results prior dissatisfaction not only affected establishing a firm, but may also indirectly contribute to its success (Brockhaus, 1980b). Later, Brockhaus and Dixion (1986) examined job satisfaction that New Zealand entrepreneurs had with their past jobs. Entrepreneurial education and its impacts on job satisfaction were researched by Hornaday and Vesper (1982). They concluded that those who were "working for myself" and had entrepreneurial education, had higher general job satisfaction than those with the same education but who were "working for others." Cooper and Artz (1993) focused on the determinants of satisfaction of entrepreneurs in their longitudinal study. They emphasized satisfaction as a fundamental measure for individual entrepreneurs. They found the causal relationship between the performance and satisfaction--the higher the levels of performance, the higher the levels of satisfaction. In addition, they stressed the connection between satisfaction and intention to continue: "... entrepreneurial satisfaction bear upon decisions by individual entrepreneurs about whether to continue or close down their ventures, ..."

More recently, Jamal (1997) and VandenHeuvel and Wooden (1997) have conducted research dealing with entrepreneurial satisfaction. Jamal did not find expected difference in job satisfaction between the self-employed and salaried people, although the self-employed experienced significantly higher job stress and reported more psychosomatic health problems than did their non-self-employed counterparts. The findings of the study conducted by VandenHeuvel and Wooden provided a more sophisticated picture of the job satisfaction of self-employed people. They concluded that self-employed contractors were not generally found to be significantly more satisfied with their jobs than wage and salary earners, but this result hinges on the degree to which contractors are independent of the hiring organization. The higher the perceived independence was, the greater was satisfaction experienced and vice versa. Thus, self-employed people are not a homogenous population as past research has implicitly assumed.

While there is dearth of research on the small business owners' entrepreneurial satisfaction in the field of entrepreneurship, plenty of inquiries on the franchise owners' satisfaction have been made in the field of marketing. Latter orientation has developed from the management needs of the channel of distribution. This study derives theoretical framework from both research orientations. Satisfaction is researched in the franchising context. Specifically, the analysis centers on franchisees' overall satisfaction, and explaining their overall satisfaction via particular components of satisfaction pertaining the business domains. Finally, the relationship, that is a potential dependence and causality, of the satisfaction and commitment is examined.

BACKGROUND

The notion of job satisfaction has been defined by Locke (1976, 1300) as a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences. By using a theoretical framework based on discrepancy theory, the entrepreneurial satisfaction is shown to be related to a gap between actual rewards or performance and the individual's goals or expectations. …

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