The emergence of the Halal food market as one of the largest consumer food markets has encouraged firms to implement Halal food certification. However, the theoretical gap in Halal studies and the unequal focus of Halal food certification research prove the deficiency of theoretical development and understanding. Hence, this paper aims to ascertain the theoretical background of Halal food certificate implementation.
The paper reviews and synthesises literature focusing on Halal certification, food certification and the Institutional Theory factors that could potentially explain the impetus of Halal food certificate implementation.
The Institutional Theory offers a suitable explanation that grounds the motivation to implement Halal food certification. The highly institutionalised Halal industry comprising government regulations, Muslim demands for Halal foods and intense industry competition instigate Halal food certificate implementation. Three propositions are presented and a conceptual model is developed.
The notions of this paper are based on the institutional perspective, i.e. the external motivation factors. An alternative view on a management theory that explains the internal motivation factors would provide a more comprehensive interpretation of reasons to implement Halal food certification. Nevertheless, the Institutional Theory offers strong understandings behind the motivation to implement Halal food certification.
Discussions and propositions from this paper could contribute to theory formation that is unique to Halal or Muslim food certification. This paper could also provide a sense of direction for researchers in mapping out future research undertakings.
The paper presents a valuable understanding of the dynamic of the Institutional Theory in the field of Halal food certification. It is the first attempt that considers the institutional isomorphism of government decree, consumer demand and inter-firm competition as motivation factors of Halal food certificate implementation.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Malaysia Halal Conference (IMHALAL) 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Resulting from helpful comments and insightful discussions at the conference, this paper is a modified and improved version.
Ab Talib, M.S., Md. Sawari, S.S., Abdul Hamid, A.B. and Ai Chin, T. (2016), "Emerging Halal food market: an Institutional Theory of Halal certificate implementation", Management Research Review, Vol. 39 No. 9, pp. 987-997. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-06-2015-0147Download as .RIS
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