Moderated Mediation Model Analysis: Examining the Complex Relationships Between Sustainability Practices, Innovativeness, Agricultural Extension Officer Competency and Oil Palm Cooperative Performance
Since 1844, cooperatives have empowered the community according to Rochdale’s principles and values. Presently, cooperatives are acknowledged to have major roles in achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 because they provide long-term economic viability, social inclusiveness, and environmental prosperity. In view of the cooperatives’ critical roles, this study examines the effects of sustainability practices (SP) encompassing social, economic, and environmental dimensions on cooperative performance through innovativeness as the potential mediator. This study also hypothesises that agricultural extension officer competency (EOC) is the moderator that creates different cooperative performance effects. The analysis focuses on the performance of oil palm cooperatives because of their pertinent roles in improving the wellbeing of the independent oil palm independent smallholders (OPISH) in Malaysia. Based on primary data collected from the 185 board members of oil palm cooperatives, it is affirmed that SP predicted cooperative performance through a mediation (innovativeness) and moderated (EOC) and relationship. The theoretical implication of this study validates a moderated mediation model that is highly relevant to cooperative performance. This model provides novel insights that competent extension officers are pertinent to facilitating OPISH, thus amplifying significant effects of SP on cooperative performance through innovativeness.
Keywords - Oil Palm Cooperatives, Sustainability Practices (SP), Innovativeness, Extension Officer Competency (EOC), Cooperative Performance