“Living the dream” - a psychoanalytical exploration of franchisee autonomy

Larty, Joanne and Hopkinson, Gillian (2021) “Living the dream” - a psychoanalytical exploration of franchisee autonomy. Journal of Small Business Management. ISSN 0047-2778

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The notion of autonomy is widely drawn upon as a contributor to motivation, satisfaction and performance in franchise systems, yet autonomy lacks sufficient theorisation and is often treated as a black box. We thus remain ill-equipped to explore further the role of autonomy within the franchise organization and to answer questions about how autonomy is experienced, fulfilled and sustained by franchisee business owners. This paper employs a psychoanalytical lens, drawing on the work of Lacan, to offer a deeper psychologised explanation of autonomy. From this theorisation, our findings provide an insight into how the quest for autonomy plays an important role in enabling the franchising format and keeping alive the dream of being your own boss, but at the same time the ongoing struggle to craft oneself as autonomous creates tensions and anxieties. The study provides an important addition to economic explanations of franchising.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Small Business Management
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Deposited On:
09 Sep 2021 14:15
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:39