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Creating Advantages with Franchising in Healthcare: An Explorative Mixed Methods Study on the Role of the Relationship between the Franchisor and Units.

PLoS ONE 2015, vol. 10, issue 2

BACKGROUND

Franchising is a promising and increasingly used organizational form to improve strategic, organizational, professional and client-related results in healthcare. However, evidence is scarce regarding how franchises should be operated to actualize such results. This paper aimed to explore the association between the results achieved by healthcare franchises and the working relationships among actors in these franchises.

METHODS

A sequential mixed methods approach was used to obtain both in-depth and broader quantifiable insights into a little-investigated phenomenon. We first employed a qualitative multiple embedded case study. Data were collected through observations, document analyses, and 96 in-depth semi-structured interviews in three Dutch healthcare franchises. Within-case and cross-case comparative analyses were conducted. Subsequently, a cross-sectional survey was developed based on the qualitative study and disseminated among 19 healthcare franchises. 40 franchisors and 346 unit actors filled in the questionnaire.

FINDINGS

It seems important to have open, committed, cooperative franchise relationships in which professional franchisees and unit managers feel and trust that they have the opportunity to introduce ideas and articulate their needs to the franchisor. Such relationships help ensure satisfaction, survival, and quality of care, because they serve to foster synergy realization and local fit and prevent reinventing the wheel and professional resistance.

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