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EIU Professor Named President on International Franchising Board

Sep-08-2014

An Eastern Illinois University marketing professor and franchising expert has been named the president of an international franchising board.

The International Society of Franchising named Marko Grünhagen as president after more than 10 years of continuous membership in the organization, which focuses on the promotion of franchising through research.

Since the formation of the organization in 1986, members have written more than 600 research papers focused on franchising. “The members in the organization are the global scholars and experts on franchising,” he said.  “We are the oldest academic group globally focused on franchising.”

The group is an international organization with members from more than 25 countries represented including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the past, the organization focused on its yearly international conference, but Grünhagen envisions the organization as a hub of academic information for franchising globally. “We are trying to put pieces of the puzzle together that are more than just than a conference,” he said.

Franchising is the fastest growing business model in the world, he said. The business model focuses on giving individuals an ‘ownership stake’ in a corporation. “Today franchising — whether we like it or not — is very vital,” he said.

Instead of hired managers, who are paid on a salary, individual owners are attracted to the model because they are invested in the business.  In comparison, companies are attracted to the model, because they do not have to invest their own money in each unit.

“Franchising is not just a business model,” he continued. “The underlying concept finds parallels in many other areas of life.”

For example, Grünhagen said President Barack Obama ran his first presidential campaign like a franchise. “His campaign was grassroots; it was persuading individuals to buy into his concept and stay on message,” he said.

If anyone has further questions about franchising, Grünhagen said the International Society of Franchising has experts on every aspect of franchising research and study.

Grünhagen earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MBA from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in Germany. For more information about the organization, click here. For more information about Grünhagen, click here.