Franchise systems and lobbying: implications for Olsonian collective action theory

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Purpose: Previous research combining corporate political activity and collective action theory has focused solely on industry structure and its role in predicting group lobbying or PAC participation. The purpose of this paper is to use a different context—franchise systems—to apply Olsonian collective action theory to political activities. Design/methodology/approach: Using a random-effects technique in STATA on an unbalanced panel data set, this paper empirically models the effects of franchise system size and degree of franchising on the level of lobbying intensity. Findings: Since franchise systems are made up of differing unit ownership structure, the author first model if those systems that are fully franchised lobby less than those with franchisor unit ownership (supported). Next, since collective action theory predicts that more participants in a space will lead to less collective action, the author predict that franchise systems with larger unit counts will lobby less than those with smaller counts (not supported). Finally, the author test the interaction of these two effects as systems that are fully franchised and of higher unit totals should have an even greater negative relationship with political activity (supported). Originality/value: This paper uses both a novel data set and a novel context to study collective action. Previous research has utilized an industry structure context to model the level of lobbying and collective action, while the current research uses an analogous logic, but in the context of franchise systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalManagement Decision
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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