Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Susan W. Arendt

Second Advisor

Lakshman Rajagopal


A sequential explanatory mixed methods design (questionnaire and interview) was used to examine current food allergy accommodation practices, policies and procedures in colleges and universities. Also, organizational culture of college and university foodservice operations using the Competing Values Framework was investigated. A web-administered questionnaire was developed based on previous literature, and distributed to a national sample of foodservice professionals who were current members of the National Association for College and University Food Services. Seventy-six questionnaires (22.2% response) were used for analysis. Questionnaire results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, pooled sample t-tests and population proportion tests. Interview guides were developed based on questionnaire data and interviews (n=11) were conducted with a subsample of the questionnaire participants. Fifty-five (74%) questionnaire participants reported food allergy accommodation policies were in place at the departmental level and 25 (34%) reported policies at the institutional level. Departmental level policies were more prevalent at public institutions in comparison to private institutions; and more prevalent among contract-managed foodservice operations in comparison to self-operated. Interview data revealed considerable variation in approaches to food allergy accommodations irrespective of policy presence. Clan culture, characterized by a nurturing, environment emphasizing personal relationships, was the most prominent culture among represented foodservice operations. Due to low statistical power, significant differences in food allergy accommodation policies and practices were not detected based on organizational culture type, however interview data suggested organizational culture may impact accommodation efforts.


Copyright Owner

Kelly Nicole Abdelmassih



File Format


File Size

282 pages