The Mediating Effects of Mass Media and Perceived Knowledge in Shaping Consumer Trust in Organic Food Labels

Teddy Lian Kok Fei, Second Wong Kar Yi
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia



The automotive component companies needed to improve their quality to meet global standards continuously. A key success factor in achieving this process is enhancing the system’s purchasing activities of vendor selection. SA Indonesia is a company that carries out business in automotive components for vendors chosen by weighting and assessing multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM). However, the company faces the lack of ability to consider interconnections between criteria that the firm values and other factors, such as price, delivery, flexibility, quality, and services. It is also important for companies to possess adequate vendor capability for sustainability and safety-health management, enabling them to determine the selection criteria. These attributes are rare in preliminary studies; therefore, companies needed utilize proper criteria to get the best vendors. Furthermore, this research integrates the AHP-ANP method to tackle the problem of selecting a vendor, using the ANP method assisted by a super decision (SD) software application. The results showed that the highest vendor selection criterion is price, while the lowest is safety. In addition,The lack of trust in organic food labels is one of the critical factors that has prevented the growth of the organic food industry in Malaysia. Therefore, this research examines factors contributing to trust in organic food labels. Based on previous findings, it identified four factors: revealed information, perceived knowledge, mass media and government on trust in organic food labels. These first two factors are from the Alphabet Theory, whereas the third and fourth variables are from the Agent-Network Theory and Alphabet Theory. This research developed a theoretical framework based on these four variables. Revealed information and government are exogenous variables, mass media and perceived knowledge are the mediators, and consumer trust in organic food labels is the endogenous variable. The study collected one hundred and fifty-nine questionnaires from Malaysian companies, with 155 used for data analysis using SPSS and PLS-SEM software. SPSS produced descriptive statistics, while the PLS-SEM measurement model confirms the validity and reliability of the framework. The structural model shows that all direct paths are significant. All except one of the mediated paths are significant, confirming the role of mass media and perceived knowledge as mediators. The mediated model with four variables, revealed information, perceived knowledge, mass media, and government, explained 65.4% of the variance in trust in organic food labels. However, apart from the direct effects of these four variables on consumer trust, the mass media had mediated effects on perceived knowledge and consumer trust, and perceived knowledge had mediated effects on government and consumer trust. The study implies that stakeholders, like government and mass media, must use information and knowledge to make organic farming successful in Malaysia.

Keywords:  revealed information, perceived knowledge, mass media, government, organic food labels.