Encouraging Indigenous Self-Employment in Franchising

  • Scott Weaven
  • Lorelle Frazer
  • Mark Brimble
  • Kerry Bodle
  • Maurice Roussety
  • Park ThaichonEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Although originally touted as a business mechanism to encourage self-employment for minorities, franchising has not lived up to initial expectations. While minority ownership in franchising in the USA has shown considerable growth over the last two decades, this has not been the case for Indigenous Australians. Indigenous business ownership in franchising remains low, even though a majority of franchisors are willing to recruit Indigenous employees and franchisees. This chapter aims to open a dialogue on the relative merits of utilising a transitional self-employment pathway for Indigenous Australians through franchising. We argue that such a hybridised approach may ameliorate systemic disadvantages that many Indigenous Australians face when considering entering small business. Data was gathered from a series of interviews with Indigenous business owners, franchise (third-party) advisors, Indigenous government agency representatives, franchisors and franchising educators. Our results highlight the pressing need to better address areas of disadvantage that have been raised in prior Indigenous Entrepreneurship and small business studies. Overall, our GROWTH-pathway approach and recommended courses of action, answer calls to encourage private sector involvement in Indigenous employment, so as to repair economic and social damage caused by the introduction of a Western enterprising culture.


Participation Social inequality Sociology of work Human capital Equal outcomes Education and Training 



We are grateful for financial support from the Centre for Tourism, Sport and Services Research at Griffith University for this project. We are indebted to the work of Senior Research Assistant, Dr. Ken Billot, in conducting the research and for advice from David Brudenall, former Senior Manager Strategic Engagement & Research, Indigenous Business Australia, in framing the research project and providing introductions to research participants.


  1. Agrawal A (1995) Dismantling the divide between indigenous and scientific knowledge. Dev Chang 26:413–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altman JC (2009) Beyond closing the gap: valuing diversity in Indigenous Australia, 54. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson RB, Dana LP, Dana TE (2006) Indigenous land rights, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Canada: “opting-in” to the global economy. J World Bus 41(1):45–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) Census coverage – the post enumeration survey (PES)Google Scholar
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) 4726.0 – Information paper: perspectives on aboriginal and Torres Strait islander identification in selected data collection contextsGoogle Scholar
  6. Australian Federal Government (2013) Closing the gap: Prime Minister’s reportGoogle Scholar
  7. Biddle N (2012) Measures of indigenous social capital and their relationship with well-being. Aust J Rural Health 20(6):298–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brickley JA, Dark FH (1987) The choice of organizational form the case of franchising. J Financ Econ 18(2):401–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brimble M, Blue L (2013) Tailored financial literacy education: an indigenous perspective. J Financ Serv Mark 18(3):207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burkle T, Posselt T (2008) Franchising as a plural system: a risk-based explanation. J Retail 84:39–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chiou JS, Hsieh CH, Yang CH (2004) The effect of franchisors’ communication, service assistance, and competitive advantage on franchisees’ intentions to remain in the franchise system. J Small Bus Manag 42(1):19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dahlstrom R, Nygaard A (1999) An empirical investigation of ex post transaction costs in franchised distribution channels. J Mark Res:160–170Google Scholar
  13. Dant RP, Brush CG, Iniesta FP (1996) Participation patterns of women in franchising. J Small Bus Manag 34:14–28Google Scholar
  14. Dant RP, Grünhagen M, Windsperger J (2011) Franchising research frontiers for the twenty-first century. J Retail 87(3):253–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dant RP, Kaufmann PJ, Brush R (2013a) Franchising as a path to self-employment for women and minorities in retailing. Working Paper, University of OklahomaGoogle Scholar
  16. Dant RP, Weaven SK, Baker BL, HJJ J (2013b) An introspective examination of single-unit versus multi-unit franchisees. J Acad Mark Sci 41(4):473–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eriksson P, Kovalainen A (2015) Qualitative methods in business research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  18. Fairbairn TIJ (1988) Introduction to entrepreneurship in the South Pacific. In: Fairbairn TIJ (ed) Island entrepreneurs: problems and performances in the pacific. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, pp 227–242Google Scholar
  19. Fiji Development Bank (1998) Annual report. Fiji Development Bank, Suva, FijiGoogle Scholar
  20. Fleming AE (2015) Improving business investment confidence in culture-aligned Indigenous economies in remote Australian communities: a business support framework to better inform government programs. Int Indig Policy J 6(3):5–36Google Scholar
  21. Foley D (2003) An examination of indigenous Australian entrepreneurs. J Dev Entrep 8(2):133–152Google Scholar
  22. Foley D (2006) Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs: not all community organisations, not all in the outback. CAEPRGoogle Scholar
  23. Foley W (2005) Tradition and change in urban indigenous food practices. Postcolon Stud 8(1):25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Foley D, O’Connor AJ (2013) Social capital and the networking practices of indigenous entrepreneurs. J Small Bus Manag 51(2):276–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Frazer L, Weaven S, Bodey K (2012) Franchising Australia 2012. Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, Griffith University, BrisbaneGoogle Scholar
  26. Frazer L, Weaven S, Grace A (2014) Franchising Australia 2014. Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, Griffith University, Brisbane, pp 1–72Google Scholar
  27. Fuller D, Dansie P, Jones M, Holmes S (1999) Indigenous Australians and self-employment. Small Enterp Res 7(2):5–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fuller D, Buultjens J, Cummings E (2005) Ecotourism and indigenous micro-enterprise formation in northern Australia opportunities and constraints. Tour Manag 26(6):891–904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Funder M (2005) Bias, intimacy and power in qualitative fieldwork strategies. J Transdiscipl Environ Stud 4(1):1–9Google Scholar
  30. Gassenheimer JB, Baucus DB, Baucus MS (1996) Cooperative arrangements among entrepreneurs: an analysis of opportunism and communication in franchise structures. J Bus Res 36(1):67–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gray M, Hunter B (2005) Indigenous job search behaviour. Econ Labour Relat Rev 16(1):71–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gray M, Hunter B, Lohoar S (2012) Indigenous employment rates. Closing the gaps clearing house, Australian GovernmentGoogle Scholar
  33. Hindle K, Lansdowne M (2005) Brave spirits on new paths: toward a globally relevant paradigm of Indigenous entrepreneurship research. J Small Bus Entrep 18(2):131–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hindle K, Moroz P (2010) Indigenous entrepreneurship as a research field: developing a definitional framework from the emerging canon. Int Entrep Manag J 6(4):357–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hunt SD (1972) The socioeconomic consequences of the franchise system of distribution. J Mark 1:32–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hunter B (2013) Recent growth in Indigenous self-employed and entrepreneurs. Australian National UniversityGoogle Scholar
  37. Hunter B (2014) Reflecting on the growth of Indigenous self-employment. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform 21(1):45–66Google Scholar
  38. Hunter B (2015) Whose business is it to employ Indigenous workers? Econ Labour Relat Rev, p. 1035304615598526Google Scholar
  39. International Franchise Association Educational Foundation (2011) Franchised business ownership: by minority and gender groups. IFA Educational Foundation, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  40. Ivory B (1999) Enterprise development: a model for aboriginal entrepreneurs. S Pac J Psychol 11(02):62–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kaufmann PJ, Dant RP (1996) Franchising: contemporary issues and research. J Public Policy Mark 15(1):159–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Koza KL, Dant RP (2007) Effects of relationship climate, control mechanism, and communications on conflict resolution behavior and performance outcomes. J Retail 83(3):279–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Morse JM, Cheek J (2015) Introducing qualitatively-driven mixed-method designs. Qual Health Res 25(6):731–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Oyelere RU, Belton W (2013) Black–White gap in self-employment. Does intra-race heterogeneity exist? Small Bus Econ 41:25–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Page SJ, Forer P, Lawton GR (1999) Small business development and tourism: terra incognita? Tour Manag 20(4):435–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Patton MQ (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  47. Peredo AM, Anderson RB, Galbraith CS, Honig B, Dana LP (2004) Towards a theory of Indigenous entrepreneurship. Int J Entrep Small Bus 1(1–2):1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Perez JC, Pavon V (2014) Economic behavior of indigenous peoples: the Mexican case. Lat Am Econ Rev 23(1):1–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2009) Franchise developments on the need to train franchisees. Accessed 17 Oct 2015
  50. Purcell G, Scheyvens R (2015) International business mentoring for development: the importance of local context and culture. Int J Train Dev 19(3):211–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sardy M, Alon I (2007) Exploring the differences between franchisee entrepreneurs and nascent entrepreneurs. Int Entrep Manag 3:403–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schaper M (1999) Australia’s aboriginal small business owners: challenges for the future. J Small Bus Manag 37(3):88–93Google Scholar
  53. Spencer EC (2008) Balance of power, certainty and discretion in the franchise: an analysis of contractual terms. In: 22nd International Society of Franchising conference, Saint Marlo, FranceGoogle Scholar
  54. Stevens E (2001) Testimony before the US Senate Committee on Indian affairs, oversight hearing on the national gaming commission (July 25)Google Scholar
  55. Supply Nation. Accessed 4 Jan 2016
  56. Van Gelder JL, De Vries RE, Frese M, Goutbeek JP (2007) Differences in psychological strategies of failed and operational business owners in the Fiji islands. J Small Bus Manag 45(3):388–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weaven S, Grace D, Frazer L, Giddings J (2014) The effect of pre-entry information on relational outcomes in franchising: model conceptualisation and gender comparison. Eur J Mark 48(1/2):193–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wood GW, Davidson MJ (2011) A review of male and female Australian indigenous entrepreneurs: disadvantaged past-promising future. Gen Manag Int J 26(4):311–326Google Scholar
  59. Young M, Guenther J, Boyle A (2007) Growing the desert: educational pathways for remote indigenous people. A national vocational education and training research and evaluation program report. National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd, Adelaide, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  60. Yusuf A (1995) Critical success factors for small business: perceptions of South Pacific entrepreneurs. J Small Bus Manag 33(2):68–73Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Weaven
    • 1
  • Lorelle Frazer
    • 2
  • Mark Brimble
    • 3
  • Kerry Bodle
    • 4
  • Maurice Roussety
    • 5
  • Park Thaichon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MarketingGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  2. 2.School of Business, University of the Sunshine CoastSippy DownsAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Accounting Finance and EconomicsGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Accounting, Finance and EconomicsGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  5. 5.Department of MarketingGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia

Personalised recommendations