College and University Dining Services Administrators’ Intention to Adopt Sustainable Practices: Results from US Institutions
This study examined college and university dining services administrators’ (CUDSAs) intention to adopt sustainable practices. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) including constructs of subjective norm, attitude, perceived behavior control, and personal norm, formed the theoretical framework. A web-based questionnaire was developed, pretested, and distributed to 535 CUDSAs in the U.S.A. Results indicated that subjective norm (pressure from others) had the most influence on CUDSAs’ intention to adopt sustainable practices, followed by attitude and personal norm. Including the personal norm construct in the TPB model reduced unexplained variance by 33.48%. Limitations of this research are generalizability of results due to use of a sample of U.S.A. members of a professional organization (National Association of College and University Food Services) and low response rate. Results suggest that pressure from college administrators and students has the greatest impact on CUDSAs’ decisions to adopt sustainable practices. The question of why some university dining operations are models for sustainability and others have few sustainable practices has not been explored. The dining services director plays a key role in determining sustainability efforts for that operation. This research explored factors influencing a director’s intention to adopt sustainable practices.
This is a manuscript of an article in International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 12 (2011); 145, doi:10.1108/14676371111118200. Posted with permission.