PROBLEMS OF SECRETARIES IN OFFICE ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE)
There are four basic elements of office management which include purpose, environment, means and personnel of these personnel which includes the secretary is the most essential. It is personnel that blend other categories towards achieving the organizational goals.
Secretaries show leadership as far as office work is concerned. According to Taylor (1992), the smooth and efficient working of any organization depends upon her ability, as she is the hub from which the various activities radiate as she was employed for the purpose of conducting correspondence, keeping business records and transacting other business within the outside the organization.
In spite of the role play in the administration and management they are neglected such that they are deprived of their right of place in the management set up.
This study will identify the duties secretaries perform in office administration and management and will also x-ray the problems they encounter in the discharge of their duties. The study will also fund solutions to these problems and make necessary recommendations.
It is the hope of this study that secretaries will be in a position to understand their problems in the discharge of their duties, the solution and recommendation will go a long way in helping serving secretaries in business organization and government institutions t find solutions to their problems.
To carry out this study, research instruments like questionnaire, oral interviews and personnel observations were administered to the target population which are serving secretaries in some selected zones of Enugu North Local Government Area which is the case study. Data collected from the research instruments will be analyzed and presented with the use of hypothesis in a tabular form and followed with the summary of the findings.
It is also hoped that suggestions and recommendations at the end f this study looked into, will help the society have more knowledge in the significance of secretarial profession and at the same time expose the problems they encounter in the business world, and probably solutions that will help to put a stop to using the secretarial profession as a stepping stone to other professions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 State of problem
1.3 The purpose or objective of the study
1.4 Scope of the study
1.5 Research questions
1.6 Hypothesis where applicable
1.7 Significance of the study
1.8 Definition of terms
2.0 Review of literature
2.1 The roles of secretaries
2.2 The prospects of secretaries
2.3 Problems of secretaries
2.4 Summary of literature
3.1 research design
3.2 Area of the study
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sample and sampling procedure
3.5 Instrument for data collection
3.6 Validity of the instrument
3.7 Reliability of the instrument
3.8 method of data collection
3.9 Method of data analysis
4.0 Data presentation and results
4.1 Summary of results/findings
5.0 Discussion, implication and recommendations
5.2 Implications of the research findings
5.4 Suggestion for further research
5.5 Limitation of the study.
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE 1: Perceptions of male and female workers of Enugu North Local Government Area on General Apathy.
TABLE 2: Responses of male and female workers of Enugu North Local Government Area on General Apathy.
TABLE 3: Perceptions of male and female workers of other Enugu Local Government on General Apathy.
TABLE 4: Responses of male and female workers of other Enugu Local Government On General Apathy.
TABLE 5: Perceptions of male and female workers on extent serving secretaries in Enugu North qualify for the job of secretary.
TABLE 6: Responses on male and female workers on extent serving secretaries in Enugu North qualify for the job of secretary.
TABLE 7: Perceptions of male and female workers on how lack of equipment is affecting the efficiency of secretaries in changing technology.
TABLE 8: Responses of male and female workers on how lack of equipment is affecting the efficiency of secretaries in changing technology.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Before the 19th century, secretarial profession and office work were generally occupied by males. Women joined office in early 19th century only as secretarial personnel. In those days, secretarial personnel were referred to as “Typewriter” rather than machine they used and Typist is the actual name suppose to be given to secretarial personnel. By then, the professions basically meant the ability to operate typewriter and writer shorthand. Inevitably, the secretary employee hired and fired at random.
That is why in the case of Barret Hares and Company in south London tramways (1887) the learned judge Lord Esher, held that “a secretary is a mere servant, her position is that she is to do what she is told and no person can ensure that she has any authority to represent anything at all”.
Psychoanalysts in their own study suggest that women are perceived as lacking what it takes to be a man. Likewise, secretaries are described as lacking the qualities that make a successful boss.
This impression humiliates the value of secretarial work and make it reluctant to acknowledge secretarial profession as part of management.
The job role of the secretary has been struggling to gain steady improvement and recognition. This was proved in landmark case of 1971 in paranoma Development Limited US. Fidelis furnishing fabrics where Lord Denning held that “timer has changes”. A secretary is a much more important person today than she was in 1887 she is an administrative officers of the company. In matter concerning administrative officers of the cmpany, in matters concerning administration. In my judgement, the secretary has ostensible authority to sign contracts on behalf of the company.
The importance of a secretary in an organization was further revealed in many write-ups. According to Azuka (1990), the word “Secretary” is coined from the Latin word “secretus” perhaps. it is in fact that aspect of the work of a secretary that involve keeping secrets, that is the secretary is after regarded as the person who maintains a high standard of confidentiality and serves as a repository information.
The National Secretaries Association (United states of America) defines a secretary as an assistant to an executive possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercises judgement and takes decision within the scope of her authority. There is therefore, no doubt in the fact that the secretary is a wheel on which the executive activities revolve. She is often referred to as executive alter-ego. Her effectiveness can either enhance or reduce the efficiency of the organisation.
The Nigerian Association of Business Education (NABE) sees the secretary as a person who is skillful in office administration, office information, management, reception, stenographic duties and in the management of human resources of the office towards the achievement of organisational goal.
Spectrum English Dictionary defines secretary as a person who writes letters, files document and deals with correspondence, arranges meetings in a club, offices or society.
Secretarial profession is created to play very important roles in the life of organizations such that they are looked upon as the centre around which office administration and management rotates. in this sense the management decisions are through the secretary’s efforts. In cognizance of the role of secretaries, they have been called several names KEEPER OF SECRETS, THE PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATION OF THE ORGANISATION, “WORK-HOLK” THE EVE OF AN ORGANIZATION, “THE HUB” from which the various activities radiate and a person who “PORTRAYS A POSITIVE IMAGE” of the organizations and generates good human relation to employees and the general public. Consequently, the initial aim of initiating the secretarial profession was misused.
Hannah (1968) confirms that the job classification of a secretary is probably the most misunderstood term in the entire clerical/execution field. Almost anybody who works in the office refers to herself as secretary or precisely any employer may speak of “My secretary” in describing his or her general clerk or typist. It is forgotten here that before one becomes a confidential secretary, she must be trained in a special way to suit the profession. According to Onyekwelu A.O. (1989), she is groomed academically and professionally to control and organization. A secretary is always pleasant, courteous and give visitors prompt services and accurate information. She disposes her duties with abundant common sense. Secretaries adapt to any changing situation, very obedient and accommodative. According to Dr. E.N. Ukpabi, a celebrated philosopher “you are a man only when you learn to hold yourself when everybody else around you is loosing his hand blaming it on you”. They plan for the days work. During their training, they have many subjects to their advantage. Shorthand particularly inculcates a lot disciplines unto them.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This study is aimed at identifying the problems of secretary in office administration and management. A case study of Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The problems of this study include the following:
1 To know if there is general apathy against secretaries in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
2 To know if there is general apathy against secretarial profession in other Local Government Area of Enugu State
3 To know to what extent the serving secretaries in Enugu North qualify for the job of secretary.
4 To know how lack of equipment is affecting the efficiency of secretaries in the changing technology.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study intends to investigate the job satisfaction of secretarial personnel in Nigeria with particular interest to Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The study tends to:
1. Find out if there is general apathy against secretaries in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
2. Find out if there is general apathy against secretarial profession in other local government Area of Enugu State.
3. Find out to what extent the serving secretaries in Enugu North qualify for the job of secretary.
4. Access how lack of equipment is affecting the efficiency of secretaries in the changing technology of today in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The researcher would have preferred to make a comprehensive study as many local governments are possible on the problems of secretaries but time, space and finance has restricted her to Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Enugu North is at the center of Enugu Urban. It is bound in the East by Nkanu East, in the west by Udi, in the South by Enugu South and in the North by Enugu East. The headquarter of Enugu North is situated at No. 7 Okpara Avenue Enugu.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. What are the causes of general apathy against secretarial profession in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?
2. What are the causes of general apathy against secretarial profession in other local government Area of Enugu State?
3. To what extent does serving secretaries in Enugu North qualify for the job of secretary?
4. How is lack of equipment affecting the efficiency of secretaries in the changing technology of today in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State?
In testing of hypothesis the following rules were applied:
HO1: There will be no significant different (P<:05) on the
causes of general apathy against the secretarial profession in Enugu and how is affecting them.
HO2: There will be no significant different (P<:05) on the
causes of general apathy against secretarial profession in other Local Government Area and how it affects the state.
HO3: There will be no significant different (P<:05) on how the
serving secretaries of Enugu North are qualified for the job of secretary.
HO4: There will be no significant different (P<:05) on the
changing technology of today in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, on how lack of equipment is affecting the efficiency of secretaries.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The people that will benefit from this study are Union Bank Of Nigeria PLC, Institute of Management and Technology Enugu, Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1 The result of this work will help young people to understand the implications in secretarial profession so that most of them will realize the good prospects of taking the profession. They will realize that as it is in other areas of specialization such as Accountancy, Medicine, Education, Pharmacy etc, the sky will be their limit in secretarial profession.
2 The Suggestion from this study will make the general masses acknowledge what secretarial profession is all about, understand that the nature and scope of secretarial administration as a discipline are diverse, and that a secretarial administrator performs a wide variety of functions as an administrator and supervisor of material and human resources. They will understand that secretaries assist in implementation of management policies, performing office machines, keeping organization’s impress account. The masses will also come to know that the secretary acts as the public relation officer of the organization.
3 This study will as well foster economic growth and development in the organizations in Enugu North Local Government Area in particular and the society in general. This is because this study will reveal to the management’s of the organizations the motivational ways that will foster job satisfaction tot he secretaries which will later be crowned with more and efficient productivity.
4 This work is also going to x-ray more facts to the heads of organizations and establishments to visualize that a high talented secretary is a professional rather than storage of appendage to the management profession. This will then foster an improved relationship between the boss and secretary and they will recognize their interdependent on one another, thus form a formidable management team for management efficiency.
5 This study will also nullify the misconception of inferiority view entertained by professional secretaries to enable them take up the pride in the profession to maintain the work and dignity they deserves. It will enhance a continuos struggle for the Universal professioanlization of the secretarial profession.
Future researcher may find it useful, this is because it will serve as one of the literatures they will review.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Keeper of Secrets: This implies the ability of a secretary to live up to the norms of her profession and her constant readiness to put on her ethical regalia. A professional Secretary keeps sealed lips about what she sees or know about the organization since by the implications of the profession she knows the organization’s confidential matters.
2. Public Relation Representative: The Secretary is been seen in the light of a public relation represent attire (PRR). Her work is based to a very large extent on human relations. Nearly every task the secretary performs involves her with people at bone stage. Her boss, her colleagues, junior staff, her employer’s colleagues, the organization’s customers or the general public. She receives almost all the telephone calls during the critical office hours. for many people, this is the only cntact they have with the organization. This makes the Secretary the information officer as well as the image-maker of the organization.
3. Workaholic: This shows the ability of the Secretary to work continuously and tirelessly. By virtue of her work, the secretary comes to work earlier than every other worker to supervise the arrival time of other workers. In spite of this she is always the last person to leave the office so long as her boss is still there. She carries urgent home work to ensure that the organizational aim is met.