The Changing Role Of Secretary And Its Implication On Productivity

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management (OTM)

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management (OTM)


The specific aim of this work was to know the changes in the role of the modern secretary and its implication on the productivity secretary, which is run in institutions of higher learning. The population comprised of all secretaries working in selected modern offices in Aba metropolis and the sample was all the secretaries holding National Diploma/Higher National Diploma qualifications in secretarial Administration programme.

An office to office inquiries were made, out of which first handed information were gotten and used for analysis.

The method of office to office inquiries showed that the facilities used in the higher institutions in training the secretary are not adequate while most of them are not in line with the ones available in modern offices, and of course not used by modern secretaries in doing their work.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 purpose of the study
  • 1.4 Significance of the study

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 The classical and modern views of the Secretary
  • 2.2 The traditional role of the secretary
  • 2.3 The modern role of the secretary
  • 2.4 Secretarial administration programme in institutions of higher learning
  • 2.5 Secretarial administration curriculum
  • 2.6 Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Design of the study
  • 3.2 Area of the study
  • 3.3 Population of study
  • 3.4 Sample and Sampling Techniques
  • 3.5 Instrument for data collection
  • 3.6 Method for data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Findings

  • 4.1 Analysis of research question

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Suggestion of Further Research.
  • References
  • Appendix One Letter of transmitter
  • Appendix two Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Secretary is said to be an important tool in any organization (Azuka and Agomuo, 1993). This statement could be confirmed form the total organization goals. The role o secretary, however, has assumed some changes over the years from traditional role to modern role. The secretary formally was known for performing the traditional role which included typing of documents, taking dictation in shorthand transcribing the dictation materials with the typewriter, and carrying out other clerical work (Austine 1974).

During that period, the training if a secretary was obtained trough commercial or vocational schools, mainly owned by private individuals such establishment had no certificate examinations, or if they pretended to have , such in house examination were not recognized by employers, rather students of such institutes went out on their own to enter for single –subject or composite subject examinations given by recognized examining bodies such as royal society of arts (RSA) the pitman faculty of secretaries, London chambers of commerce ands the like in stages J. II, III – (Amaefula, 1997). The role of secretaries presently. Has been enhanced to meet the requirement of modern business world. The work of a secretary does not end at traditional role as mentioned above but also managerial and administrative role.

Thus secretary can now sit in for the personnel manger, administrative/office manager book-keeper, correspondent, organization and methods manager, public relations manager, etc which are part of the modern role of the secretary (Maduabuachi, 1993). This has been made possible by the training she received in the institution of higher learning under secretarial administration programme.

Secretarial administration programme is one of the technical/business education programmes approved by National Board for Technical education (NBTE) to be offered in accredited universities, polytechnics and collages of education in Nigeria. This programme is introduced to ensure effective ad adequate preparation pf prospective secretarial in skills, general business and offices so that on graduation the secretary would have acquired sufficient academic and professional knowledge.

Giving strong idea to this, the NBTE curriculum and course specification on secretarial administration (1990) states only proficiency in the use of the typewriter and phonographic skills as was the cased in the previous years, but has to acquire a thorough detailed knowledge of office administration and management which can make work only not as a secretary but also as an office manager when occasion demands.

With technological advancement, most office work processes are automated; word processing facilities and computer technology have been universally acclaimed to make a significant contribution to secretarial administration.

This development in secretarial administration has brought about some negative thinking in some quarters. Some have expressed the fear that new trend in secretarial profession will translate into unemployment for those who are not adequately trained and prepared to cope with challenges secretary. This fear is however, forded to secretarial staff it may nevertheless after the duties but will not remove the secretarial functions. Marvin and Maqera (1984) stated that office automation should help to remove waste, improve productivity and create thousands of new and more challenging jobs for these willing to adapt and train themselves.

It is true that machines which listen speak, write, correct spelling errors, store and file will largely do away with need fore secretaries dictationists, stenographers and even the traditional secretary. But is also true that office automation will free those people for other tasks likely to require more training but also offering better pay and greater jobs satisfaction.

The secretary is now faced with the challenge of using electronic and computerized systems to do her work. For quite some time now, the issue of adequacy and proper implementation of secretarial administration programme for keeping pace with modern role of the secretary has remained a source of great concern to institutions running the programme, secretaries and employers. Therefore, this study is intended to examine this issue properly in order to offer objective and useful recommendations.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In today’s rapidly changing world, organizations are now much bigger and things change at an even increasing pace. Traditional management style or organization has given way to modern management style in response to environment pressures. This means that top management personnel can now delegate duties to their subordinates who now participate in decision making and policy formulation of the organization.

The secretary as an assistant to the chief executive is therefore an important member of the management team in business, industry, government education, communication, media etc (Okonye 1992). It is no longer practicable for a secretary to discharge her duties effectively by doing merely proficient in the use of the typewriting and phonographic skills as was the case some decades ago. She now has to acquire an in-depth knowledge of office administration and management, which will enable her fit into any organization and performs not only as a secretary but also as an office manager.

This was underscored by Onyemade (1993) who stated that not only has the role of the secretary changed on the use of equipment but also their administrative processes, office routines management systems are similar evolving into new forms. Unfortunately, most secretaries who passed through secretarial administration programme find it difficult to carry out administrative responsibilities properly without supervision advancement in word processing and computer technology has brought with it new challenges to the secretary. It is quite paradoxical and indeed humiliating that most secretaries in modern offices cannot operate most f the modern office machines installed to facilitate the office work.

The problem of this study is that the objective of the secretarial administration programme are not fully realized and the course contents and facilities of the programme are not adequate to meet with the challenging role of the secretary

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study was designed to determine the changing role of the secretary and its implication on the productivity secretary specially. To:

  1. Determine the traditional role of the secretary.
  2. Identify the changing role of the secretary.
  3. Evaluate how this changing role affects the training needs of the secretary.
  4. Determine the adequacy of the facilities for the training of students.
  5. To determine the relevance of these equipments to the secretary’s role.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study is significant in many ways. In the first place, it will go a long way to changing peoples attitude about secretarial profession and enlightening them on the versatility of the secretary in business world.
It will as well help employers to know the importance of the secretary in the realization of organizational goals and in national development.

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the institutions of higher learning on the need to engage qualified manpower for the training of today’s secretaries and modern training facilities that are lacking or insufficient in supply in the institution etc

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Findings

This study has made critical examination and evaluation on the changed role of the secretary and its implications to productivity secretaries.

This chapter will also deal with summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation.

Table 1

There are changes in the role of secretaries in Aba south local government Headquarter. Thus the researcher is of the view that despite that fact that the grand mean for research question one is respectively significance, which shows that there are changes in the role of secretaries. The highest mean score of the respondents shows that this change implies more on office automation. It further shows that secretaries who are technologically informed are big asset to the establishment.

This could be seen form the fact that none of the respondents saw typing with manual typewriter as a modern role of the secretary. Such roles as writing routines letters, memos and relieving boss of administrative duties.

Table 2

Indicates the changes facing the secretary as a result of the changed role. The respondents are of the view that despite computer is a necessary evil that secretaries must embrace, it is still hazardous to the secretary’s health. Stonson (1982) users of computer with Video display terminals complain of dulling of vision, change color of perception.

The researcher is of the view that management should provide adequate modern facilities and also train and retain the secretary since her position in the office is very sensitive

Table 3

Indicates that the implications of these challenges to the secretary as a result of the changed role. The secretary is no longer seen as a person who can be fired at will; rather she is seen as a personality identified as contributing towards achieving the objectives of the organization.

The researcher is of the view that secretaries should strive and keep pace to office automation since secretaries are now thrown out of the job if they don’t keep pace to automation. They should be aware and conscious of these challenges and implications.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the study, the following conclusions are drawn form the study.

  1. There are changes in the role of olden day’s secretary. This is to a great extent however, was attributed to technological changes and the challenging administration responsibilities.
  2. Few equipments used in the training are not relevant to the roles of modern day secretary. This is to an extent, accounts for secretaries’ incompetence in their roles.
  3. There are challenges facing the present day secretaries as a result of their changing role.

5.3 Recommendations

The study has shown that the change on the roles of the secretary has a lot of implication on the productivity secretaries. Therefore, the following recommendations are hereby made by the researcher.

  1. Technological training should be given to secretaries to enable them perform creditably.
  2. Organizations should provide on-the-job training and retraining for their secretaries who are not skilled on the job to keep them improves technologically.
  3. All organizations should strive and purchase more of modern equipments and effectiveness.
  4. Secretaries should strive and be technologically informed is a big asset to the organization.
  5. Further study should be carried out in the topic in order to ascertain the truthfulness of the conclusion.

5.4 Suggestions Of Further Research

  1. It is suggested that further research studies be carried out in other states of the federation.
  2. A follow-up study should be carried out to find out to which modern working facilities influence the secretaries performance.

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