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Organics, trust, and credibility: a management and media research perspective

Iris Rittenhofer, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
Karen Klitgaard Povlsen, Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07169-200106

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Abstract

Our purpose was to qualify the relations between trust, credibility, and the field of organics by way of creating a dialogue between two independent Organic Research, Development and Demonstration Programme “MultiTrust” subprojects. Both projects explore the explanatory value of trust and credibility for the success of organic labels in the fields of management research and media research. Our key objectives were to critically scrutinize the trust and credibility constructs applied in each of these two fields, to reflect on their explanatory value in the performance of organics from both a management and media perspective, and to set out an agenda for future interdisciplinary research. We conclude that relations between organic products, labels, and consumers are still poorly understood, that the belief in organic labels’ direct impact on consumer choices in favor of organic food purchase cannot be supported, and that the explanatory value of trust for the success of organic production remains unproven. We propose for future research to investigate the relevance of credibility and trust for organics in multidisciplinary mixed-methods studies that focus on the emergence of trust, as well as on other social factors impacting the success of organic production. This would best be achieved through interdisciplinary work.

Key words

credibility; customer; management; media; organic food; organic labels; trust

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087