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Commitment in Franchising: The Role of Collaborative Communication and a Franchisee's Propensity to Leave


William R. Meek, tel.: (937) 229-3760; e-mail:, to Beth Davis-Sramek at, to Melissa S. Baucus at, and to Richard N. Germain at


Social exchange theory provides the basis for developing a model where collaborative communication from the franchisor relates positively to commitment, and commitment relates negatively to franchisees' propensity to leave the relationship. We analyze data from a unique dataset of 200 franchisees and find partial support for this model; franchisor communication positively relates to one dimension of franchisee commitment, and one dimension of commitment negatively relates to propensity to leave. The study expands franchising theory by examining the franchising relationship from a social exchange perspective and by empirically demonstrating the important role commitment plays in the franchising context.