||Innovation, Consumer, and Social Characteristics on Trial Willingness of Use of Nano-foods: Product Uncertainty as the Moderator
||Department of Business Administration
Diffusion of Innovation
奈米科技的應用至今已延伸至醫療、民生用品、食品等各產業，其相關產品更能直接地在市面上購得。因此，本研究以奈米食品為研究主題，採用創新擴散理論(Diffusion of Innovation) 為研究基礎，探討消費者對於奈米科技產品之嘗試意願，並以產品創新特質、消費者特質及社會特質為前置因素，瞭解消費者對奈米食品的主觀知覺(含知覺信賴、知覺利益)，進而探討產品不確定性是否會對前置因素與奈米產品的主觀知覺產生干擾效果。有效問卷總共獲得431份，並以階層迴歸進行資料分析，結果顯示創新產品特質(相對優勢、低可視性、新穎性)、消費者特質(知覺科技應用)及社會特質(權威信任)皆會影響知覺信賴或知覺利益；而社會影響對奈米食品的態度及嘗試意願則有直接影響。在干擾因素方面，產品不確定性於前置因素與奈米食品的主觀知覺之間具有顯著的干擾效果。根據統計分析結果，消費者較重視創新食品是否能帶來益處，因此本研究建議食品廠商在發展新奈米食品時，應善用食品包裝上的說明作為溝通橋梁，藉由包裝註明奈米食品的好處以提升嘗試意願，並減少消費者對奈米科技的憂慮及不安。此外，倘若廠商能協同權威單位(如：奈米研究人員)，透過傳播媒體向社會大眾傳達正確的奈米科技及食品的資訊，將能有效的提升奈米產品的銷售與利益。
Nanotechnology applications have been extended to medical and consumer food products, and some nanotechnology products can even be obtained directly from marketplaces in developed countries. Therefore, the current study intends to take nano-foods as the research topic and to employ the Diffusion of innovation theory as the research basis by which to investigate consumer’s trial willingness to use nanotechnology products. Innovation, and consumer and social characteristics are employed as antecedents in order to examine if they will have any effect on perceived trustworthiness and perceived benefit. In addition, the study also takes product uncertainty as a moderator to examine the moderating effects among three characteristics and subjective perceptions of nanotechnology products. 431 valid questionnaires are collected. The research results from a hierarchical regression analysis indicated that innovation characteristics (Relative Advantage, Lack of Observability, and Novelty), consumer characteristics (Perceived Technology Application) and social characteristics (Authority Trust) all affect perceived trustworthiness or perceived benefit. Social influence also has a direct effect on attitude toward nano-foods and trial willingness. Product uncertainty significantly moderates the relationship between three characteristics and subjective perceptions. According to the research results, it is found that consumers pay more attention to the benefits of innovative food products. Therefore, when a new nano-foods is introduced, the current study suggests that food manufacturer use the description on the package as a communicative tool. Detailing the advantages of nano-foods on food packages might be a useful way to enhance trial willingness and to reduce fear and insecurities related to the use of nanotechnology. In addition, if food manufacturers could cooperate with units of authority (e.g. nanotechnology researchers) to disseminate correct information about nanotechnology and its related food products, it might be a good way to increase both sales and profits.
Table of Contents IV
List of Tables VIII
List of Figures IX
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Research Background and Motivations 1
1.2 Research Objectives 6
1.3 Research Process 7
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 9
2.1 Nanotechnology and Nano-foods 10
2.2 Diffusion of Innovations Theory 13
2.2.1 Relative Advantage 17
2.2.2 Lack of Observability 18
2.2.3 Novelty 19
2.3 Consumer Characteristics 21
2.3.1 Perceived Technologies Application 22
2.3.2 Knowledge of Nanotechnology 24
2.4 Social Characteristics 24
2.4.1 Authority Trust 25
2.4.2 Social Influence 27
2.5 Perceived Trustworthiness of Nano-foods 28
2.6 Perceived Benefit 29
2.7 Attitude toward Nano-foods 31
2.8 Trial Willingness 32
2.9 Product Uncertainty 32
2.10 Conceptual Model 34
2.11 Hypothesis Development 37
2.11.1 Relative Advantage, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 37
2.11.2 Lack of Observability, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 38
2.11.3 Novelty and Perceived Trustworthiness 39
2.11.4 Perceived Technology Application, Perceived Trustworthiness and
Perceived Benefit 40
2.11.5 Knowledge of Nanotechnology, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 42
2.11.6 Authority Trust, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 43
2.11.7 Perceived Trustworthiness, Perceived Benefit and Attitude toward Nano-foods 44
2.11.8 Attitude toward Nano-foods and Trial Willingness 46
2.11.9 Social Influence, Attitude toward Nano-foods and Trial Willingness 47
2.11.10 Perceived Benefit and Perceived Trustworthiness 48
2.11.11 The Moderating Effects - Product Uncertainty 49
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY 52
3.1. Construct Definition and Hypotheses 52
3.1.1 Definition of Constructs 52
3.1.2 Summary of Hypotheses 55
3.2 Measurement Development and Questionnaire Design 56
3.3. Pilot Test Analysis 63
3.4. Data Analysis Procedure 67
3.4.1 Demographics Analysis 68
3.4.2 Confirmatory Factor Analysis 68
3.4.3 Reliability and Validity Analysis 68
3.4.4 Structural Equation Model 69
3.4.5 Hierarchical Regression Analysis 69
CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS & RESULT 70
4.1 Data Collection and Demographic Analysis 70
4.2 Descriptive Analysis 72
4.3 Measurement Model Analysis 75
4.3.1 Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) 75
4.3.2 Reliability Analysis and Convergent Validity 78
4.3.3 Discriminant Validity Analysis 79
4.4 Structural Equation Models – Hypotheses Test (Direct Effect) 80
4.5 Hierarchical Regression Analyses – Hypotheses Test 81
4.5.1 Main Effects 81
4.5.2 Moderating Effect of Product Uncertainty 87
1. Perceived Trustworthiness as Dependent Variable 87
2. Perceived Benefit as Dependent Variable 91
4.5.3 Additional Analysis - Knowledge of Nanotechnology as Moderator 93
1. Perceived Trustworthiness as Dependent Variable 94
2. Perceived Benefit as Dependent Variable 97
4.5.4 Additional Analysis – Independent Sample t test 99
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS 101
5.1 Discussion 101
5.1.1 Innovation Characteristics 101
1. Relative Advantage, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 101
2. Lack of Observability, Perceived Trustworthiness and
Perceived Benefit 102
3. Novelty and Perceived Trustworthiness 104
5.1.2 Consumer Characteristics 105
1. Perceived Technology Application, Perceived Trustworthiness and
Perceived Benefit 105
2. Knowledge of Nanotechnology, Perceived Trustworthiness and
Perceived Benefit 106
5.1.3 Social Characteristics 108
1. Authority Trust, Perceived Trustworthiness and Perceived Benefit 108
5.1.4 Subjective Perceptions 108
1. Perceived Trustworthiness and Attitude toward Nano-foods 108
2. Perceived Benefit and Attitude toward Nano-foods 109
3. Perceived Benefit and Perceived Trustworthiness 109
5.1.5 Attitude & Social Influence 110
1. Attitude toward Nano-foods and Trial Willingness 110
2. Social Influence, Attitude toward Nano-foods and Trial Willingness 110
5.1.6 Product Uncertainty - Moderator 111
5.1.7 Knowledge of Nanotechnology - Moderator 113
5.2 Implication 115
5.2.1 Theoretical Implications 116
5.2.2 Managerial Implication 118
5.3 Limitation and Directions for Future Research 121
APPENDIX 1 Measurement Model of Factor Loading 142
APPENDIX 2 SEM Path Result of Direct Effects 143
APPENDIX 3 Questionnaire 144
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