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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Public relations are a management tool designed to establish unity and oneness among people within the internal and external environment. (Thomas & Lane, 2000). Another definition stated that public relations include activities that are building around a favorable company’s image through publicity, and community events (Zeithaml, Bitner & Gremler, 2009). The major functions of public relations are to create and maintain excellent relations with the organization’s internal and external stakeholders, such as persons and private, governmental, and societal entities in general.
Public relations can have a strong impact on public awareness at a much lower cost than advertising (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006). The tools used in public relations are press releases, lobbying, product publicity, investor’s relations, and development. Modern public relations have evolved to embrace corporate sustainability; corporate sustainability is built around the organizational structure that embraces public relations theories and practices.
Ecological, sociological, and corporate/business elements must be properly promoted internally/externally by utilizing public relations efforts in order to provide the most updated information to stakeholders/employees and the public (Penning, 2007). Conflict is inevitable to any business organization or institution. The Chinese embraced crisis or conflict as a concept for many centuries.
The symbol for their word "crisis called “woi-ji” is actually combination of two words,' "danger and an opportunities" Conflict may be perilous as well as being advantageous to organizations, institutions or states. It all depends on the way and means the organization, institutions or state can play a conflict situation to its advantage or disadvantage. It can destroy organization, institution or state, if it is not properly prevented or managed.
Conflict situations appear with frequency in daily, public and private life. These conflicts may be on a small or large scale; they may occur within and among groups, communities of nations and they be triggered by ethnic, racial, religious or Economic differences, in values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding issues. It is truism that conflict is part of human nature but the correct thing to do in face of conflict is not to wish that there be no conflict but to plan and be ready to contribute to peace from time to time. The potential for conflict exists whenever and wherever people contact. As people are organized into groups to seek common goal, the probability of conflict greatly increases.
Since only the most serious conflicts make head-lines, conflicts have a negative connotation for many people. All conflicts are not the same. We face conflicts on all levels. We have disagreements with family and coworkers, "Conflicts are rarely resolved easily. Most conflicts are managed as individuals work out differences. One of the ways through which conflict can be resolve or managed in an organization or society is to set up public relations officers, hence the study public relations as a tool for conflict management.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The biggest problem of enterprises in developing the institution of conflict control is that of catching conflict young. Conflicts situations are frequently allowed to develop to almost unmanageable proportions before anything is done about them by which time it is often too late to resolve them by peaceful and procedural means. It could also be that the people that make up the public relations team or unit are not well qualified to term down situations that looks irresolvable. It could also be that public relations officers are not given regular training to know how to handle issues. finally, several researches has been carried out on the public relations as a tool for conflict management but not even a single research has been carried out on public relations as a tool for conflict management (farmers and herders clash) a case study of 3rd Armourd division Nigerian army, Jos, plateau state.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to examine public relations as tool for conflict management. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. to determine the effect of public relations on conflict management.
2. to determine the extent to which public relations affect conflict management.
3. to determine the influence of public relations on conflict management.
4. to assess the role of public relation in the management of conflict.
5. to proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1 What is the effect of public relations on conflict management?
2 What is the extent to which public relations affect conflict management?
3 What is the influence of public relations on conflict management?
4 What is the role of public relation in the management of conflict?
5 What are the possible solutions to the problems?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: the use of public relations as a tool for the management of conflict is not effective.
H1: the use of public relations as a tool for the management of conflict is effective.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on public relation as a tool for conflict management will be of immense benefit in the sense that it will enable the government to set up a conflict resolution centers or public relations in other to solve dispute amicably in the society. Also, the study will enable the government to organise regular training for public relations officers in other to equip them for conflict management. The study will also educate the citizens to take issues to where that can be solved easily without taking laws into their hands. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on public relations as a tool for conflict management (farmers and herders clash) is limited to Jos, Plataeu state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Public RelationsIs the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public.
Conflict Management Is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict.
ConflictIs a natural disagreement resulting from individuals or groups that differ in attitude, beliefs, values or needs. It can also originate from past rivalries and personality differences.
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