1st Edition

The Corporate Paradox Power and Control in the Business Franchise

By Alan Felstead Copyright 1993
    289 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 1993, The Corporate Paradox is the first major, in-depth study of the franchise relationship and how it functions. While past debates have focused on the question: ‘What do bosses do?’, we are now being asked: ‘Who really is the boss?’. Since the late 1970s the emergence of franchising arrangements has been a major part of the wider process of change taking place in the nature of modern business organization. The names of franchise companies are familiar to most people: Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Pepsi cola, Body Shop, to name but a few. But how many people realize that each such outlet is a separate legal entity owned by a local franchisee? Franchising remains, at best, little understood.

    In this book, Alan Felstead explores who controls what, why and how, setting his discussion within the context of the many current changes affecting traditional contractual bonds between employers and employees, producers and buyers, owners and managers. This is a must read for students of management, organizational studies, marketing, industrial sociology and commercial law.

    List of Figures List of Tables Preface Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Binding firms together 2. Defining what franchising is, its development and scope 3. Explaining how and why franchising works 4. Setting the legal contours of franchising 5. Changing franchisor ownership and its consequences 6. Managing a franchise in a changing commercial environment 7. Conclusions Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Notes Bibliography Index


    Professor Alan Felstead has been studying employment-related issues for over 35 years.  Since completing his PhD, he spent 5 years working at Nuffield College, Oxford, 14 years at the University of Leicester and 17 years (and counting) at Cardiff University.

    Reviews of the original publication:

    ‘From this brief description it should be clear that Felstead's book is more than a valuable detailed study of a  business phenomenon of which little is known, but is also a contribution which has theoretical relevance as well… the result of Felstead's dissection of franchise operation is to remove their mysteries. By the time he has finished them, the franchises turned out to be a rather novel and subtle configuration of corporate power. There are in fact, many similarities with these forms of organization and the new corporate forms now being developed by some of our, supposedly orthodox, major corporations.’

    -Stephen Ackroyd, The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 46, No. 3