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Franchising is an important form of organizational control. Possible benefits of franchising include its ability to reduce agency costs that increase with costly monitoring, and provide incentives for the use of local information by onsite managers. However, these benefits may come at a cost, as franchisees may reduce quality by choosing to free ride. While many studies have investigated the reasons for franchising, few studies have documented the impacts of franchising on unit level operating performance. Using time-series data from a number of lodging properties that were converted to franchisee control from company control, this study documents the performance impacts of franchising. The analysis reveals that conversion results in a modest decline in financial performance and an immediate sharp decline in quality.


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