College and University Dining Services Administrators’ Intention to Adopt Sustainable Practices: Results from US Institutions

Thumbnail Image
Chen, Chao-Jung
Gregoire, Mary
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Arendt, Susan
Shelley, Mack
University Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management provides an interdisciplinary look into areas of aesthetics, leadership, event planning, entrepreneurship, and multi-channel retailing. It consists of four majors: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; Event Management; Family and Consumer Education and Studies; and Hospitality Management.

The Department of Apparel, Education Studies, and Hospitality Management was founded in 2001 from the merging of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies; the Department of Textiles and Clothing, and the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Dates of Existence
2001 - present

Related Units

  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies (predecessor)
  • Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (predecessor)
  • Department of Textiles and Clothing (predecessor)
  • Trend Magazine (student organization)

Journal Issue
Is Version Of

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.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011