SPECIAL ISSUE of the Journal of Marketing Channels

Franchising Trends and Challenges in the Digital Age: Local, National, and International Perspectives

Deadline for manuscript submission is December 31, 2018

Guest Editors

Hyo Jin (Jean) Jeon, University of Nevada – Reno

Nada Mumdziev, Webster Vienna Private University


This Special Issue of the Journal of Marketing Channels is dedicated to marketing channels research in franchising. Franchising is one of the most popular methods for the distribution of goods and services. Many firms have grown rapidly by penetrating their brands through these forms of licensing relationships. Over the past several decades franchise research has examined different facets of franchising such as contractual design, organizational governance structure and ownership patterns, channel relationship management, and foreign market entry strategies. However, investigations into fundamental issues regarding franchising often have been limited to the discussion of the trends and challenges in current franchising topics that can be beneficial to practitioners.

This Special Issue is designed to specially address franchising in the digital age. The traditional business model of franchising, successful for over half a century, now faces various challenges with the rise of e-commerce, digital marketing channels, cutting edge technology, and tech-savvy customers. This forces both franchisees and franchisors to find ways of implementing omnichannel strategies that combine all of their established sales channels in a seamless manner.

However, e-commerce and omnichanneling brings with it a number of issues in franchise relationships such as technological investments, channel conflict, delivery and returns management, and consistency. Franchising, as a business model, could have significant influences on the omnichannel challenges. Overall, there is a lack of empirical research on how e-commerce, multichannel and omnichannel strategies, online marketing, and the social media outreach of franchisors and their franchisees will influence franchise systems.

We strongly believe that the field of franchising could largely benefit from new theoretical frameworks that can explain current franchising issues in the digital age. We therefore invite researchers from various disciplines to submit empirical and conceptual studies focused on investigating the described challenges in the context of franchise systems from local, national, and international perspectives. Examples of research that would be welcomed include:

  • The rise of digital channels and omnichannel strategies in international retail and

service franchising.

  • The effects of e-commerce and omnichanneling on traditional or product distribution


  • The influence of social media on the brand equity of business format franchising.
  • The role of digital channels and their impact on standardization versus adaptation

decisions in international franchising.

  • The influence of the Internet and price transparency of franchise business transactions

on the roles of franchise brokers, sales representatives, and other channel partners.

  • The managerial challenges of using an omnichannel strategy for various aspects of

franchising including uniformity and consistency throughout a franchise system.

  • Channel conflicts within franchise systems that implement an omnichannel strategy.
  • The influence of technology development on the growth of multiunit franchising.
  • These examples are not intended to stifle the creativity of potential authors as papers concerning most issues related to franchising in the digital age are welcome. If in doubt about the suitability of a paper’s theme for this Special Issue, please contact either of the guest editors.


  1. Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published or be currently

under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  1. All manuscripts will be double-blind refereed. Manuscripts must be submitted

electronically in Word format and must be consistent with the author submission guidelines of the Journal of Marketing Channels that can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/WJMC. Click on the “Instructions for authors” tab. A complete Style Guide for Manuscript Submissions to the Journal of Marketing Channels can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/wjmc_styleguide

  1. Manuscripts should be received no later than December 31, 2018, with accepted

papers published in late 2019 or early 2020. Please submit directly to either of the guest editors, preferably through e-mail as a Microsoft Word attached document.

Hyo Jin (Jean) Jeon

Assistant Professor of Marketing

Department of Marketing

College of Business

University of Nevada – Reno / MS0028

Reno, Nevada 89557-0206 USA

E-mail: hjeon@unr.edu

Nada Mumdziev

Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy

Department of Business and Management

Webster Vienna Private University

Palais Wenkheim, Praterstrasse 23

1020 Vienna, Austria

E-mail: nada.mumdziev@webster.ac.at