Evidence of research conducted on outreach activities of Faculties of Agriculture in the state Universities of Sri Lanka focusing on agriculture related knowledge transfer is meagre or absent. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate, with an underlying theoretical framework, the factors that would predict the intention (participation decision) of academia to engage in outreach activities. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) was applied for the prediction. A structured questionnaire was e-mailed and posted to randomly selected 67% of the academic staff members from each of the eight Faculties of Agriculture (N = 257) in the state Universities of Sri Lanka, where 126 filled questionnaires (49 %) were returned after three reminders. The results indicated that the application of the theory along with additional variables could explain 39 % of the total variability. In general, satisfaction, recognition and rewards, subjective norms and positive attitudes towards outreach activities were the strongest predictors of intention to engage in outreach activities. Those who have engaged in outreach activities in the past with a higher general level of satisfaction are more likely to engage in outreach activities in future as well. These findings suggest that interventions to promote outreach activities of the academia of Faculties of Agriculture in the state Universities should target these factors in the short run together with establishment of an effective formal mechanism for outreach in the long run.
Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 26 (2): 285 – 293 (2015)