NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are Franchises Bad Employers?

Peter Cappelli, Monika Hamori

NBER Working Paper No. 13327
Issued in August 2007
NBER Program(s):   LS

Franchise jobs are often described as representing the epitome of the "low road" approach to managing employees: high turnover, little training, deskilled jobs, and little employee involvement, practices often seen as unsophisticated. Research on franchise operations suggests, however, that the basic operating principles and practices of franchises tend to be more sophisticated than those of equivalent independent operators. We might therefore expect their employee management practices to be more advanced as well, challenging the stereotype of franchise jobs. We use data from a national probability sample of establishments to examine the relationship between franchise status and employment practices. While descriptive statistics suggest that franchise operations use low road practices, once industry, size, and other control variables are included in the analysis, franchise operations appear on important dimensions to offer better jobs with more sophisticated systems of employee management than similar non-franchise operations.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13327

Published: Peter Cappelli & Monika Hamori, 2008. "Are Franchises Bad Employers?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, ILR School, Cornell University, vol. 61(2), pages 147-162, January.

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