Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Mary B. Gregoire

Second Advisor

Susan Arendt


The purpose of this study was to identify sustainable practices existing in college and university dining services (CUDS) and to explore the influence of attitude, subjective norm (social pressures), perceived behavior control and personal norm on college and university dining service administrators' (CUDSAs) intention to implement sustainable practices in their operations using the theory of planned behavior model. Data were collected with a web-based questionnaire sent to 535 CUDSAs in the United States listed in the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) directory. Thirteen e-mails were returned as undeliverable. A total of 138 CUDSAs responded, resulting in a 26.4% response rate. Sustainable practices perceived to occur most frequently in CUDS were recycling fat, oil and grease; recycling cardboard; using recycled paper products and recycling aluminum. The least common practices were serving locally grown food and composting.

Structural equation modeling was used to test hypotheses. Findings revealed that subjective norm had the most positive influence on CUDSAs' intention to adopt sustainable practices, followed by attitude toward sustainable practices and personal norm. There was no significant relationship between perceived behavioral control and behavioral intention, suggesting that implementing sustainable practices was largely under volitional control. Including the personal norm construct in the TPB model reduced unexplained variance in the model by 33.48%, suggesting that personal norm had an effect on CUDSAs' behavioral intention.


Copyright Owner

Chao-jung (rita) Chen



Date Available


File Format


File Size

146 pages