An Analysis Of The Performances Of Modern Secretaries In Ibeto Group Of Companies

Project and Seminar Material for Secretarial Administration

An Analysis Of The Performances Of Modern Secretaries In Ibeto Group Of Companies


This study aimed at comparing secretarial profesion of yesterday and today. The problem observed in the study was that there is need to examine the productivity and efficiency of secretaries of yesteryears and today. The need for this comparison is justified by the fact that the modern business environment is one place that has witnessed various changes especially in terms of technology. Thus, this study was carried out among secretaries and business executive who have secretaries working with them in IBETO GROUP OF COMPANIES, NNEWI.

In order to provide theoretical framework and background for the study, the researcher reviewed various literials, which directly relate to the topic of study. Being guided by the review, a structured questionnaire was designed to collect data.

Having collected the data, the researcher adopted the use of simple percentage, which is \likert’s 5 point summated rating scale to analyze the data.

Major findings of the study revealed that: today’s secretaries must possess at least a higher educational qualification unlike in the past when typists were referred to as secretaries. Today’s business environment demands that a secretary must have attended a well-recognized secretarial institution to obtain higher educational qualification.

Thus, secretaries of today must have good knowledge of the administration of the modern office environment. Hence, secretaries of today are quite different from secretaries of yesteryears.

Secretaries of today require special training before they can be of equal status with other professionals.\
This is necessary because in the modern business environment, secretaries must be prepared to learn new ways of doing things.

Based on all issues raised in this research work, the following recommendations were made.

Secretaries of today must be able to adopt new ways of doing things. They should possess good knowledge of the use and application of computer technology in the modern business environment.

Business organizations should secure modern office machines and equipment that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of secretaries.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Acknowledgement
  • Dedication
  • Abstract
  • Table Of Content

Chapter One

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of Problem
  • 1.3 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.4 Purpose Of The Study
  • 1.5 Scope / Delimitations Of The Study
  • 1.6 Research Questions
  • 1.7 Definition Of Terms

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Review Of Related Literature
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Traditional Secretary / Secretary Of Yesterday
  • 2.3 Traditional Secretary / Secretaries Of Yesterday And Today.
  • 2.4 Prospects Of Secretarial Profession Of Today In Ibeto Group Of Companies
  • 2.5 Employment, Promotion Opportunities And Increase In Salary For Secretaries Of Today In Ibeto Group Of Company.

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 Research Design And Methodology
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Instrumentation
  • 3.4 Population
  • 3.5 Sample And Sampling Techniques
  • 3.6 Data Collection Procedure
  • 3.7 Method Of Analysis

Chapter Four

  • 4.0 Data Presentation And Analysis
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Analysis Of Respondents Biographical Data
  • 4.3 Analysis Of Research Statement Data.
  • 4.4 Analysis Of Research Questions.

Chapter Five

  • 5.0 Summary Of Fingins Conclusion And Recommendation
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary Of Findings
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Conclusions
  • 5.5 Limitation Of The Study
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Onasanga S.A. B (1990) said, that word secretary” ultimately came from the latin word “sectrum” meaning secret. Original it meant, one entrusted with secrets and confidence of a superior”. In middle English, it was secretaries and in middle latin, it was secretaries. In France from 13th to the 16th century, the word secretaries meant a confident. It also became an administrative term meaning “someone who transcribes or arranges for another.”

By 1847, the definition in the first millennium Webster Dictionary was greatly expanded “secretary” – (1) A person employed by a public body or by a company or by an individual, to write orders, letters, dispatches, public or private papers, records and the like.

Secretary –(2) an officer whose business is to manage the affairs of a particular department of government as the secretary of state.

Today, the word “secretary” is commonly stereoy typed a person who types correspondence” or a dictation taker”. To better describe the administrative and information management functions of today’s office support staff, the term administrative professionals” is recommended as blanket term for officer support staff by the international association of administrative professionals (IAAP).

The introduction of the secretarial profession is as old as man and nature. The role arose out of the natural need for a prominent person to whom confidential matters could be entrusted and who could act as an assistant for a principal.

It is known that secretaries existed in Rome prior to the establishment of the empire. They were usually educated men who took dictations as “scribes” and often times acted as trusted advisors.

However, Ezugu (2004) stated that a secretary was someone to whom an absolute confidence is reposed on, who could write letters for a king or great nobles and who could keep the content to herself.

Before the invention of parchment and reed pens, tools of the trade for scribes ranged from chisels used upon stones to stylnses used on day, wood or wax tablets. Events and works of great men during that time were recorded in one form or the other. Like Alexander the great said, “reliable records show that the present sky secretary come from the genesis whose oldest is ‘penman”.

The first secretarial personnel officer trained were stylishly called ‘penman’ and this art is known as ‘penmanship’. The penman originally used guill feathers as pen in making fancifully wridings. Other classes of secretaries emerged after the penman called ‘the write” and constituted themselves into what could be regarded as ‘chartered secretaries” who rendered useful services to individuals and organizations that requires their services at about the time, this become the basis of the profession at those early times as there were no typewriters then to accentuate the shorthand.

In an expose contained in the new Encydopedia Britannica (1990:1052) on shorthand and typewriters, most historious date the beginnings of shorthand with the Greek historian xenophon, who used an ancient Greek recongnize the memoirs of Socrates it was in the Roman Empire however, that shorthand first became generally used. Marcus Tallius Tiro, a learned freed man who was a member of cicero’s household, invented the Tironians notes-which was the first latin shorthand system. It was devised in 63 B.C. it lasted over a thousand years. The latin Tironian shorthand became popular enough to be compiled into shorthand dictation and used by emperors and learned clergymen in speed writing.

As a result, a number of shorthand systems were invented. In 1837, Isaac pitman published his first latin edition of the art. In 1840, the second edition of his work appeared, under the title “phonographe or writing by sound being also a new and natural system of shorthand.

His work which was in different forms include pitman’s shorthand instructor and key; new Era;

1.2 Statement Of Problem

The secretaries in the past believed that once they could type. They can carry out secretarial function properally, but not so. To measure up as a secretary you have to work hard to broden up your knowledge not just typing documents.

The past secretaries were just those who stays in front of their bosses office, type letters for them and carry out some orders like clearning the office or deliever massage to business partners and friends. Some of these typist decided to enroll in a nearby evening private secretarial schools, where they will go and learn how to write shorthand and transcribe their shorthand outline, then at the end of the day they will be given a certificate showing that they can type and write little shorthand.

The secretaries of the past were refered to as typist or stenographers but still there attitude to work was not even encouraging at all.

Their equipment used by these traditional secretaries are, their quill pen with ink which was used for writing shorthand at the rate of 10 words per minutes; and their manual typewriters which cannot produce the best with much fatique at the end of the day, these secretaries will still sit there at the entrance of their bosses office waiting to type another letter, and people look at them as dropout and low class workers who deserves no special recognition in the growth of the organization. The problem faced by these sets of people was the fear of continually remaining subordinates to their boss and may never be bosses themselves.

They even work more hard than any other person in the organization, but are paid very low amount of money, they don’t even have good working environment at all.

For the recent or secretaries of today are been improved in so many ways. But despite these new inventions that has really affected and changed the roles of secretaries in today’s fast growing organization. The secretaries are yet to be a substitute for the secretary in any business organization.

And some of these problems are, increase in salaries, a venue for advancements and employment opportunities and these were expatriate executives. These male stenographers were never placed as confidential secretaries rather only the female expatriates were given such opportunities because their language was used, secondly, they were wall trained for the skills before coming to Nigeria. He further stated that by 1960, the expatriates left Nigeria while some Nigerians men and woman on training replaced their positions.

1.3 Significance Of The Study

This study is essentially significant in the following ways;

  1. It will highlight some of the differences between secretaries of yesterday and today.
  2. The findings from this investigation will enhance the image of secretaries and thus place them in their rightful position along other office.
  3. The outcome of this study will be beneficial all practicing secretaries who are already in the system.
  4. Another set of people that will benefit from this study are all student secretaries all over the country. It will enhance the overall performance of the student secretaries because they will be convined of the importance of this profession.
  5. Finally, the findings from the research will ensure a concrete perception of the secretarial professional by the general public.

1.4 Purpose Of The Study

The purpose of the study on Nigerian secretaries yesterday and today! A comparative analysis concentrated on Ibeto Group of companies Nnewi.

The researcher principally aims at investigating the relationship between the secretarial profession as it was perceived then and how it is seen today, for the purpose of revealing the differences and suggesting improvements if necessary.

1.5 Scope / Delimitations Of The Study

This study which is designed to compare Nigerian secretaries of yesteryears with those of the present day would be restricted to Ibeto Group of companies Nnewi which incidentally is the case study.

1.6 Research Questions

For the purpose of this research study, the following questions are formulated.

  1. Is there any difference between secretaries of today and those of yesterday?
  2. Do secretaries of today require any special training before they can be of equal status with other professionals?
  3. Is there job satisfaction for secretaries of nowadays than before?
  4. Is there a scope of expansion in the profession?
  5. Is there any increase in secretary’s productivity nowday?

1.7 Definition Of Terms

For better understanding of this researcher work the following operational terms are defined.


The act of putting something into operation, the control or direction of affairs.


Agreement between particular things, likeness, the act of exchanging letters.


Having a noticeable or desired result.


To make a note on a document or notes taken during a meeting.


The arrangement of points to form an effective whole a group of people with a special purpose.


The branch of knowledge, study mastery and utilization of manufacturing and industrial methods systematic application of knowledge to practice industry.


The first trained professional officer.


This is the act of writing with feathers by the panman.


One who has the skill of writing shorthand outlines and transcribing on the typewriter.


Use of automation equipment and madrines in handing of secretarial matters.


Writer in ancient times\present secretary: a modern secretary who is equipped with the new information technology system.

Past secretary:

All the secretaries that existed between (1940 and 1970) are known as first generation secretaries.


According to National secretaries association quoted by obdo (2001), is an executive assistant who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibilities without direct supervision, who exercises initiative and judgments and who makes decision within the scope of assigned authority.

Chattered secretary:

A professional body that controls the activities of its members, regulates entry into the profession through a set of organized examination.

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