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THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF SECRETARIAL PROFESSION IN THIS MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL ERA
High productivity is the pursuit if every public corporation. To allow for this, it is therefore necessary that the organization should tackle all the problems that could hinder the objective, purpose, growth and target for which the organization was established. This project therefore, is undertaken to give actual background on the problems that affect secretaries on their jobs, their prospects, the need to tackle these problems and the effect of these problems on secretarial productivity. According to the study, these problems could lead to under utilization of secretaries, dissatisfaction with their jobs and lower productivity. Using observation, interview and questionnaire methods, it was found out that the secretaries were also affected with poor promotional morale, lack of adequate motivation, lack of modern equipment and poor conditions of employment compared with their counterparts. Also discussed were the prospects of secretaries in public corporations. The major findings was that secretaries were satisfied with their job because they are now using modern office equipment. Based on the findings, it was recommended that business organizations that are still making use of obsolete gadgets should replace them with the modern office machines in order to enhance the job performance of their secretaries. Also, institution of higher learning should procure this modern equipments to be used in the training prospective secretaries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Study
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Significance of the Study
1.5 Research Questions
Review Of Related Literature
2.1 The impact of information Technology devices on the job performance, efficiency and satisfaction of secretaries.
2.2 Review of some information Tech. Machine in an organization.
2.3 The place of the secretary in the face of the advancement in technology.
2.4 Summary of literature review.
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Population of the Study
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique
3.5 Sources of Data
3.6 Questionnaire Design and allocation
3.7 Method of Data Collection
3.8 Method of Data Analysis
4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data
4.2 Data Analysis
5.0 Summary of Findings, Recommendations and Conclusions
5.1 Discussion of Findings
5.2 Summary of findings
5.5 Limitations of the Study
5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Secretaries as seen in the secretarial world and business organizations today, are faced with many problems and also have some prospects.
A secretary according to Hornby (2001), “is an employee in an office who deals with correspondence, keeps records, makes arrangements and appointments for a particular member of the staff”
The American Secretarial Association defined a secretary in the most acceptable way as – “an assistant to an executive, possessing a mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercises judgment and makes decisions within the scope of assigned authority.”
A secretary can also be defined as a person who maintains a high standard of confidentiality and a repository of information. Infact, there are numerous definitions of the word secretary as far as there are many authors. With the above definition in mind, one can easily see that the need for a secretary in any corporation cannot be overemphasized.
A secretary is a major communicating link between the executive ad his associates, the office staff and the public. As a result of this important linking position, a secretary can play a vital role in helping to create and maintain a smooth running business office. Thus a secretary seen as the bedrock and image-image of any business organization.
For a secretary to perform her functions efficiently and effectively, she must have undergone some educational training and obtained the basic office knowledge and skills to be efficient and effective on the job. A secretary is quite different from a clerk, a typist and other office workers.
However, for one to qualify as a secretary, she must have taken courses in shorthand, typewriting, office practice, secretarial duties and must be fairly computer literate for easy adaptation in modern offices.
Shorthand and typewriting are the key working tools of a secretary and it is expected that any person who aspires to take up any secretarial post must have passed typewriting ad shorthand within the following speed range – 25-100 words per minute, 80-120 words per minute in typewriting and shorthand respectively.
It is not uncommon to see people who have only passed typewriting at any of the recognized speeds without shorthand or those that have typewriting and shorthand skills are referred to as secretaries. These categories of secretaries are not qualified secretaries.
Some of the certificates recognized in our business organizations and of course our corporation for secretaries are – Royal Society of Arts Certificate, Pitman Certificate, Federal Technical College certificates, national Diploma certificate all in Secretarial field obtained in the Polytechnics, and Colleges of Technology. Bordus Diploma of Mc Cann Erickson Advertising once said, “professional training on a good secretarial course is the basic requirement for the would-be top secretary”. It will help her perform her duties efficiently and effectively.
The impact of modern technology on secretaries in both private and public corporations cannot be overemphasized. The services of the secretarial profession are utilized by various organizations. Those in the secretarial profession work directly with the management of these organizations as support staff and they help in realizing effectively the missions and objectives of the organizations. Most of these objectives are geared towards resource management, which shows in the production, distribution and utilization of goods and services.
Today therefore, technology has become the centre point of the secretary’s performance. The role of secretaries in the highly automated industries tends to become that of monitoring, maintaining and adjusting the equipment involved in the production process. Generally, in this era, those in the secretarial profession do not actually work on the product directly, rather, they maintain and monitor the equipment and records of operations. Those in the secretarial profession have tender opportunities to interact socially since the number of people with whom interaction may occur has been reduced and replaced by machine. The availability and the use of those modern technologies have led to increase in the job interest of secretaries. There is efficiency in production also; there is maximization of profits in organizations.
This immediate point is the prospect of the secretarial profession. In view of all these facts, the problems and prospects of the secretarial profession in these selected establishments are critically investigated in this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The invention of computers (word processors) into the business and academic sectors which secretarial profession is not an exception, has exposed the secretary to acquisition of modern skills necessary to improve on the secretarial challenges.
Storage facilities have been reduced to a small compact called disk. How reliable this medium of storage is, is still a mirage to the secretary. A file can remain as long as a secretary or an organization wants it to last.
The use of intercommunications, audio-recording equipment and the likes has alienated the secretary from her boss that the interpersonal relationship which she used to enjoyed, is virtually not there. In this isolated situation, how can the secretary morally cope with the present day challenges?
Many other professions where major improvements were made in their scheme affects their “nomenclature” or the nature of their professions but that of the secretary, till date, has not experienced any change to reflect her present status with that of the computer. Old “nomenclature” and the nature of their profession still remain and in use.
It is the purpose of this work, by the time it is completed, to make absolute recommendations and bring to light the challenges and prospects of the secretary in the present day dispensation.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to find out the problems facing the secretarial profession and their prospects in relation to their job on selected establishments in Enugu State and make recommendations.
The study specifically, aimed at:
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that this study will reveal the problems that the secretarial profession battles with and it will go away in finding ways of improving the performance of the profession which will lead to increased productivity and enhanced prospects. The study will give more light on the major causes of these problems and then highlight what the employer should do to eliminate most of them in order to motivate the secretary towards achieving the corporation’s goals.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
4. Do you think that inability of the government and private employer’s of labour to reviewed the secretarial status affects the secretarial output?
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