BOOK REVIEW | FRANCHISE-CHAT
INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISING IN INDUSTRIALIZED MARKETS - WESTERN AND
NORTHERN EUROPE by Ilan Alon and Dianne H.B. Welsh
Ilan Alon and Dianne Welsh have compiled a far-reaching 500
page book exploring franchising in 12 West and North European
countries. The countries include Austria, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
and the United Kingdom.
The book contains a wealth of information covering a wide
range contextual issues pertaining to franchising. Numerous
topics and issues are explored, with examples including franchising
history, statistics, legislation, codes of ethics, women in
franchising, retailing, hotel franchising, plural form (or
dual distribution) strategies and franchising trends. Not
all topics are covered for each country.
International Franchising in Industrial Markets is a collection
of articles selected and edited by Ilan and Dianne. The articles
are written by writers from a range of backgrounds, which includes
franchising researchers, lawyers and consultants from throughout
Europe. Each typically specialises on their country. The articles
vary in style, structure and methodologies. Some utilise quantitative
statistical analysis, some employ qualitative techniques (like case
study analysis), some are theoretical, and some are based on experience
and anecdotal evidence. Some employ a mixture of styles and methodologies.
So, what's in it?
Content is divided into 22 chapters. The first two chapters focus
on franchising in Europe generally, and include articles entitled Breaking into the European Union Using Franchising, and Comparative
Review of Legal Issues in Europe. Chapter Three explores legal
aspects of franchising in Austria, while Chapter Four contains an
overview Danish retail franchising. Chapters Five and Six are devoted
to Finland, and include franchising statistics and an exploratory
study of the Finish Franchisee Training Program.
France is the focus of Chapters Seven through Nine. The chapters
include a general franchising overview, a survey of the plural form
in French hotel chains, and a survival analysis of hotel franchising.
The German legal environment and women in franchising are explored
subsequently, in Chapters 10 and 11, while the following chapter
provides good background information on Greece.
Chapter 13 and 14 are devoted to Italy, with two good articles
exploring franchise trends and developments, and internationalisation
of Italian franchise companies. Chapter 15 analyses the potential
of franchising in Norway, with particular reference to potential
entry by US companies. Chapter 16 looks at standardisation versus
adaptation issues for franchisors entering Portugal, and includes
an interesting case study involving McDonald's. Chapter 17 looks
at the Internationalisation efforts of Spanish companies, and Chapter
18 explores the legal aspects of franchising in Switzerland.
The United Kingdom is the final territory covered. Chapters 19
through 21 provide information on UK franchisor internationalisation,
direct sales franchises, and the internationalisation process. The
book then concludes with advice for European franchisors considering
entry into the US.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Ilan Alon and Dianne Welsh have created a valuable franchising resource
focusing on the West and North European market. The books articles/chapters
cover a huge range of important franchising issues, and are both
interesting and insightful. I was personally interested to learn
quite general information about franchising in each market. I particularly
enjoyed the article exploring the internationalisation of indigenous
Italian franchise systems, like Benetton. I was also greatly interested
in the detailed, qualitative account of one unnamed British born
I have only two minor gripes. First, some articles are difficult
to read due to a legalistic and/or overly academic writing style.
In particular, I felt one legal article required more background
knowledge than could reasonably be expected from the books readership.
And finally, I would have liked more comparative information on
key facets (e.g., number of franchise systems, industry prevalence,
average age, contribution to GDP, % indigenous systems etc) for
Who should buy it?
Answer: Anyone with an interest in International Franchising.
Certainly, if you are considering taking a franchise system to Western
and Northern Europe then this book provides valuable contextual
information to better understand each market. Franchising consultants,
attorneys, researchers and students should also find it interesting
and helpful, and can also benefit from the numerous references to
It should be noted that this book is not intended to be a prescriptive
guide to International franchising. It does not provide a step-by-step
guide to entering each country. Rather, International Franchising
in Industrial Markets - Western and Northern Europe is a collection
of valuable and insightful articles that relate to each country
Overall, I think this is a good book. It is crammed with interesting
and useful information. It easily justifies the US$60 tag.
This book is available for purchase [here]
Reviewed by Dr Callum
Floyd, Editor of Franchise-chat.com