Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl Duckworth

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Judith McKay


branding, conflict, conflict resolution, marketing, rebranding, social attitudes


This study aimed to bring to light infield internal assumptions, expectations, and knowledge that may influence limitations on fostering an environment that can increase a social demand for conflict resolution services, knowledge, and practices. The research explored if the field’s marketing is influenced by the macro social norms, assumptions, and expectations of conflict and if they influence how the field communicates with its market. The study’s goal was to investigate if the marketing and the branding of conflict resolution are influenced by the social fact of conflict as negative. This study explored conscious and unconscious broad patterns of common-sense knowledge, vocabulary, and symbols connected with conflict and conflict resolution. The researcher conducted interviews with two groups: Group A, career conflict resolution practitioners, and Group B, the research outlined target market: millennials. Descriptive qualitative analysis was used to analyze the definitions, descriptions, and narratives of the groups as a means to illustrate the current status quo of the communication between the field and its audience. The research depicts a rebranding of the concepts of conflict and conflict resolution by career conflict resolution practitioners that deviated from the traditional views held by the outlined target market. The omnipresent frame of conflict as negative existed in both groups that informed binary relationships with other concepts such as conflict resolution. This research plays a role in outlining the current environment of the understanding of conflict and conflict resolution with the ultimate goal of improving best practices in marketing and branding for the future.