COMMUNICATION AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL FOR CRISIS RESOLUTION IN SELECTED TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN DELTA STATE NIGERIA
Crises of different types occur between managements and students of tertiary institutions in Delta State, Nigeria. Communication is all embracing as far as crisis resolution is concerned. Communication is very vital to life and effective communication has the ability to resolve crises of all sorts amicably. This is why communication is seen as important aspect of crisis resolution between managements and students of tertiary institution. This is what motivated this study to assess communication as a tool for crisis resolution in selected tertiary institutions in Delta State, Nigeria. Social Judgment and Frustration Theories were used as the theoretical perspectives. Delta State has 15 institutions of higher learning with a total population of 77,600. Out of the 15 institutions, the multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 20 percent from the institutions, faculty/schools, departments and class level. As a result, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku and Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro were selected. Therefore, the total numbers of sampled students were 1,720.
The survey research design was adopted with questionnaire and interview as instruments of gathering quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Quantitative data were analyzed using parametric and non parametric method. The qualitative data on the other hand was analyzed using content analysis to report the interview responses. The study answered the five research questions and one hypothesis raised for the study. Some of the findings of the study included a very high level of information flow and usage between managements and students of tertiary institutions in Delta State. Some of the respondents 757 (56%) which are above average said that information flow and usage was very high. Also 679 (50.9) said that information flow regularly from management to students.
Findings also revealed that managements employed good communication strategies in resolving crises between them and the students. Majority of the respondents 911 (68.3) strongly agreed that managements employed communication strategies in the resolution of crises between them and students. This is in tandem with the data generated from the students which confirmed that the institutions’ managements employed different communication strategies in resolving crises between managements and students. Findings also revealed that the state of peace in any institution of higher learning are due to lack of effective information management between management and students.
It was concluded that communication is a very viable tool for the resolution of crisis, between managements and students of tertiary institution in Delta State. Therefore all tertiary institutions should always endevour to use appropriate and effective communication in resolving crisis between managements and students. The managements of tertiary institutions should envolve the use of communication rather than force. Communication strategies that are favourable to both the managements and the students should be used in resolving crisis between them.
Keywords: Communication, Crisis, Management, Institution, Resolution