مقایسه بهره وری نام های تجاری چندگانه در فرانشیز یکسان : رویکرد تحلیل پوششی داده ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2948||2010||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 92–98
As the restaurant franchising industry increasingly diversifies its brands, it is pivotal for a firm to accurately assess the efficiency of brands within its franchise system. This research compares and contrasts the efficiency of different brands belonging to the same franchisor using data envelopment analysis (DEA). The sample was drawn from three brands that are in operation under the same restaurant franchisor. The results of the study showed that the efficiency of each establishment, as well as the brands, differed significantly from each other. Managerial and strategic implications for franchisors and directions for future research are discussed.
The role of the brand is an integral part of a firm's marketing strategy and is increasingly seen as a valuable asset and a source of differentiation (Lim and O’Cass, 2001 and O’Cass and Grace, 2003). Aaker (1991) suggested that brand equity contributed to a firm's value through increased loyalty, awareness, and perceived quality. As such, strong brands deliver greater returns to shareholders with less risk (Madden et al., 2006). From a consumer's point of view, a brand identifies the source of the product and provides a promise or bond with the producer (Lassar et al., 1995). Brand names in the service industry are particularly important for members of a franchised system because they can obtain systematic economies and market impact that could not be achieved through individual action (Bucklin, 1971). When a franchise possesses a robust brand, it enables the franchisor to create entry barriers to competitors and thus creates a competitive advantage by prohibiting duplication of image and product. While some service firms only possess a single brand, it is interesting to observe that a substantial number of service firms offer multiple brands to communicate to a wide range of customers and diversify their markets. A broad line of products enables a firm to create more business opportunities for a sales force and channel partners (Best, 2004). For instance, Darden Restaurants Inc., the largest casual dining restaurant company in the world, owns and operates more than 1400 units with many different brands such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, and Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill. Aaker and Jacobson (2001) argued that measuring brand performance has become a crucial management task. While a number of researchers have attempted to measure the efficiency of brands, the existing approaches have exclusively centered on measuring the increased financial returns that the brand generates (Ambler et al., 2002 and Schultz, 2004). In other words, universal brand valuation stresses a short-term incremental financial return rather than emphasizing efficiency. As such, Schultz (2004) argued that most of the valuation methodologies designed to measure product brands simply do not work in the corporate brand arena. In a service organization, it is a challenge to accurately assess brand efficiency for a variety of reasons. The intangible nature of a service makes it difficult to objectively define and measure the service outputs being provided (Fitzgerald and Fitzsimmons, 1997). Nevertheless, ratios for output per unit of labor (labor productivity) and output per capital (capital productivity) are the two most frequently used single-factor approaches in measuring the productivity in the service industry (Brown and Dev, 1999). Unlike traditional methods, DEA is a powerful tool that overcomes the limitations of conventional techniques to measure brand efficiency. Donthu et al. (2005) asserted that DEA is a better approach to measuring efficiency as the technique provides the diagnostic tool necessary for effecting productivity-based performance improvement. DEA can measure efficiency at the individual franchised unit level by simultaneously incorporating multiple inputs and outputs. The technique allows identification of the most efficient units which can then be used as a benchmark. An efficiency score is calculated for each unit relative to the best performer. As a result, over the past decade, DEA has been applied within a wide range of business disciplines for the selection of benchmarking partners (Keh et al., 2006). Despite the importance of measuring productivity for service organizations, it is surprising that there has been relatively little empirical research on this topic (Johnston and Jones, 2004). Compared to the manufacturing industry, the practical use and academic study of DEA remains relatively limited in service industries. However, the area has attracted increased attention in recent years. There are a growing number of recent studies that measure productivity in the service and hospitality disciplines. The service industry, particularly a franchisor with multiple brands, provides an ideal opportunity to illustrate DEA for the purpose of internal benchmarking. Specifically, a restaurant franchise was chosen to serve the purpose of this research because it offers a wide variation in competition, location, and neighborhood characteristics. Nevertheless, each franchise unit within a brand still adopts very similar menu concepts, standardized operating procedures, décor/design, production functions and technology. The purpose of this paper is to empirically compare and contrast the efficiency of multiple brands within the same franchise utilizing DEA. The next section briefly reviews the literature on two different DEA models. Section 3 presents the research methodology. Section 4 discusses the empirical analysis and presents how managers can adopt the outcome of DEA operationally in the individual restaurant units. The final section concludes with managerial implications and suggestions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Brands are increasingly seen as valuable assets and sources of differentiation that play an integral role in marketing strategy (O’Cass and Grace, 2003 and Lim and O’Cass, 2001). Nevertheless, attempts at measuring brand efficiency in the service industry have resulted in ongoing disputes as well as substantial challenges for industry practitioners and academicians. The main contribution of the current study is that it is the first to examine differences in the efficiency of service industry brands using a theoretically and methodologically rigorous approach. A number of significant findings emerge from this research. First, there is substantial variation in the brand efficiency of units within the same franchise system. Although the study found that a noticeable number of units are operated in the CRS, the number of brands that are in the DRS are predominant (see Table 5). This result provides significant managerial implications for the managers of these units. For instance, since the DRS is unable to generate the same amount of output given the input supplied by the firm, it is critically important to identify how much such establishments can be expected to increase their efficiency without sacrificing existing financial and human resources. By doing so, the management will avoid misallocations of brand management resources. Although the research provides theoretical and empirical evidence to identify differences in brand efficiency, it has several limitations. These result from the inherent limitations in the research data rather than from the methodology itself. First, the use of a single franchise operation may disproportionably influence the research outcome and limit the ability to generalize the findings to other segments of the franchising industry. Also, it is important to point out that the results obtained in this study are based entirely on the input and output variables employed in the models. An alternative combination of input and output measures might possibly change or mitigate the specific findings of this study. From a strategic point of view, it is important that managers systematically evaluate efficiency with various input and output variables in order to better identify operational areas in need of improvement. These analyses should offer more reliable indications of the adequacy of model specifications and properly advance the benchmarking process. In terms of future research, previous studies postulated that franchise systems with higher value brand names are more likely to encourage company ownership since this provides them with greater control over the final product and services (Combs et al., 2004 and Castrogiovanni et al., 2007). This argument implies that brand efficiency may be related to the ownership structure of a franchise system. If a particular brand of the franchise system is more efficient than others (in this case brand A), what proportion of efficient brand units does a firm own? If inefficient units convert into efficient units over period of time, would it significantly influence the ownership structure of the franchise system accordingly? Additionally, there is widespread recognition of the important role that brands play in generating and sustaining the financial performance of companies (Knowles, 2003). In addition, Madden et al. (2006) argued that a strong brand not only delivers a greater return to shareholders than does a relevant benchmark, but does so with less risk. This implies that brand efficiency and the financial performance of firms are not completely separable because once a threshold level of efficiency is obtained the focus of a firm should shift toward increasing financial objectives. While this argument suggests that brand image and brand awareness both lead to positive financial outcomes, it is not clear whether efficient brands help franchisors achieve a superior financial performance. In that regard, determining the nature of the relationship between brand efficiency and financial performance should be the focus of future research.