Causes Of Conflict Between Secretaries And Bosses In Anambra State Owned Establishment (Ahocol Company Awka)

Project and Seminar Material for Secretarial Administration

Causes Of Conflict Between Secretaries And Bosses In Anambra State Owned Establishment (Ahocol Company Awka)


The major purpose of this research is to find out the causes of conflict between Secretaries and Bosses in Anambra State owned Establishments. The population of the study consists of 58 Secretaries in Anambra State Owned Companies. The sample for the study was the total population of the Secretaries which is 58. Three research questions were formulated which guided the study. Nine (9) items structure questionnaire was developed validated and tested for its reliability. The percentage method was used in calculation. The major findings of the study were:

  1. That secretaries have more area of conflict with their bosses than areas of mutual friendship.
  2. The consequences of such conflicts affect the progress of the establishment concerned.
  3. That if the possible strategies or procedures suggested can be adopted by the secretaries the conflict can be remedial.

It is concluded that, it is important for the secretaries to have a good working relationship with their bosses to stop the conflicts and achieve the goals of the establishment, and bosses should provide or create a room for negotiation between them and their secretaries.

Table of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Contents
  • Abstract

Chapter One


  • Background of Study
  • Statement of the problem
  • Purpose of the study
  • Significance of the study
  • Definition of terms
  • Research Questions
  • Delimitations of the study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • Meaning of a secretary
  • Qualities of a secretary
  • Functions and categories of secretary
  • Types and characteristics of conflicts
  • Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • Design of the study
  • Area of the study
  • Population of the study
  • Sample of the study
  • Instrument used for data collection
  • Distribution and retrieval of the instrument
  • Method of data collection

Chapter Four

Presentation and Analysis of Data

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • Summary of findings
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Limitations of the study
  • Suggestions for further studies
  • References
  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B

Chapter One


Background of the study

A secretary is an assistant to an executive possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercise judgment and takes decision within the scope to her authority. The Webster Dictionary of English (2005) however, defined a Secretary as one trusted with secret of or confidence of a superior, adviser, confident or one employed to handle correspondence and manage routine and detailed work for a superior. This depicts that a secretary is a skilled personnel who possess both executive and personal attributes in managing the affairs of any organization effectively and efficiently in order to achieve organizational objective. From this description, Onasanya (1990) defines a Secretary as someone who possess adequate knowledge of administration or organization and the ability to achieve results through hard work and management of resources or people on behalf of his/her boss. Its classification depends basically on experience and their functions are diverse and this depends largely on the field of specification. The cadre of secretaries tends to determine and at the same time modify the function of such secretary.

According to Rule and Byars (1983), performance is the degree of accomplishment of the tasks that makes up on individual job, but the performance of these function can be greatly inhibited by certain functions.

According to Alancik and Fetter (1977) a job is satisfying when there is a match between the characteristic of the job and the needs of the individuals. The determinants include self-evolution, expectation, social norms, social comparisons, commitment etc, for instance, if on e expects a job to be paying well, and it is not, them he/she will be dissatisfied. Also if one is not evaluated up to the standard, she will also not be happy (dissatisfied).

The Secretary’s satisfaction leads to organization commitment, while dissatisfaction result in behaviors is know to the organization. (Turnover, absentee’s, low morale, etc).

Those who are dissatisfied with their work never reach psychological maturity. They feel frustrated. Employees who like their jobs and other job related factors will be loyal and devoted employees. However, employees who strongly dislike and dissatisfied with their job or any other job related factors will often exhibits these feelings by taking absent or by taking more convert actions to disrupt the organization.

A Conflict is a serious disagreement or argument. Conflict has become a feature of labor management relationship in Nigeria while Secretaries and Bosses in the industries should work harmoniously together for the betterment to the fulfilled in practice. Secretaries and bosses tend to have opposite views. This is because of the divergence between the expectation of management and labor in an Establishment.

Statement of the problem

The Secretary is flexible, technically good in their jobs and they are determined. Public concern regarding the conflicts of bosses and secretaries in Nigeria has been on the increase in recent times. It is observed that many qualified secretaries desecrate their jobs and take to other professions entirely different from Secretarial profession. Many Secretaries that choose to remain in the profession do not seek ways of improving their management in an organization.

Generally, the concern is more on the conflicts between Bosses and Secretaries; no mention is ever made of the factors responsible of these conflicts. Certain questions need to be asked in an attempt to recognize those factors that causes the conflicts in state owned establishment.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is:

  1. To basically investigate some of the causes of conflicts between Bosses and Secretaries in State owned Establishment.
  2. To examine the damages which conflicts between bosses and secretaries caused to different industries
  3. To find out the consequences of such conflicts
  4. To suggest remedy and strategies for solving conflicts between Bosses and secretaries in state owned establishment.

Significance of the Study

The study is significant for the following reasons:

The result of the study will enable the Management to formulate a policy toward conflicts resolution in establishment industries.

It will help to highlight some of the factors which cause conflict between bosses and secretaries in a state establishment (AHOCOL) so that management will appreciate the seriousness of the problem.

The study will also enable the management to formulate policies towards conflicts resolution in industries. It will serve as a guide (especially in establishment industry) to enable them prepare their minds on how to take the conflicts likely to come.

The information contain in the study will be of assistance to students who might be interested in further research into other areas of secretaries and bosses conflicts not covered by not present study.

Research questions

  1. What are the factors that cause the conflicts between bosses and secretaries?
  2. What are the damages caused by such conflicts?
  3. What are the method used in resolving this conflict between bosses and secretaries?

Delimitations of the Study

This study was delimitated to the causes of problem between Secretaries and Bosses in industries owned by the Government and to enable management to formulate a policy towards conflicts resolution in industries.

Definition of terms

1. Secretary:

Is an employee in an office, who deals with correspondence, keeps records and makes management and appointments for a particular member of the staff.

2. Boss:

A boss is a person who is the head of a company, not merely in change of subordinate workers but in charge of all lower level manager and supervisors, sometimes called middle management.

3. Establishment:

As a place where a business is carried on.

4. Industry:

An industry is a group of companies that manufacture products and services which are closely related to each other.

5. Organization:

Is a social unit of people that is structed and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals.

6. Conflicts:

Refers to some form of friction, disagreement or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.

7. Skill:

This refers to all activities that require the control of physical movements to be made.

8. Performance:

Secretaries ability to carryout the duties and responsibilities demanded to his/her position.

9. Source:

Oxford Advanced Learners (6th edition)

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

Here, the research summarizes the findings, conclusion and recommendation made.

Summary of Findings

  1. It was observed that inadequate performance is caused by conflict between secretaries and bosses.
  2. Also, findings show that aggression leads to conflict between secretaries and bosses
  3. Findings also show that, lack of motivation cause conflict between secretaries and bosses
  4. Findings also indicated that, when Negotiation is adopted, it can bring peace between secretaries and bosses.
  5. Effective motivation like promotion, constant payment of salaries, rewar5ds, when adopted can promote trust between secretaries and her bosses as found out from the staff.


Based on the result of the data collected, analyzed the following conclusions have been drawn.

  1. If adequate performance is maintained, the conflicts between secretaries and bosses will be eliminated.
  2. That if secretaries are motivated like giving them promotion, rewards, the conflict will be reduces.
  3. That conflict can also be eliminated when Negotiation is been adopted.
  4. Another major conclusion that can be addressed from the findings is that secretaries’ responses are not at variance with the responses of their bosses.


From the data analysis and its presentation, the objective of the study and significance of the s6tudy regarding to the causes of conflict between secretaries and bosses in state owned Establishment such as Anambra State Home Ownership Co- limited Awka, and Transport Company of Anambra State Awka.

  1. That adequate performance should be maintained so that the objective of the company can be achieved.
  2. The researcher recommends that the boss should motivate the secretaries by promoting them from their current position to upper position and also awarding them.
  3. The boss should maintain an effective communication with the secretaries so that information can be dispatching on time and effectively.
  4. On the basis, for identified consequences and their implications on efficiency. It is hereby recommended that the strategies indentified be systematically followed so that with time, improve work relationship may result.

Limitation of the study

The academic system restricted by academic work and inability to carryout a through research work as they have desired such as time constraint.

This can be ruled our following academic work load placed on the writer which does not allow sufficient time for data collection during the period of the research. Whatever shortcom8injg observed in this work should be seen as a system of time sharing between the researcher, academic and research work.

With much emphasis to the country’s economic depression the population of this project is limited only to the financial capacity of the writer. Also the high cost of transportation in the country constituted a very big hindrance to the researcher in making investigation for the write-up.

Logically, a project is only subjected to available information gathered from the object of the companies used. This project is limited to only the information provided for that purpose.

Finally, a good research work requires adequate books for reference purposes. Due to the fast that only little time was devoted to the work, the researcher made use of only the few books found in the school library, and some information gathered from these selected companies.

Suggested areas for further research

Since no research work is completely concluded due to certain limitations, it is in view of the researcher that further in-depth study and research work been made in the following related areas:

  1. It is suggested that similar studies be conducted in public service to make for a better comparison.
  2. It is further suggested that a similar study be carried on a horizontal sphere to measure causes of conflicts between secretaries and their bosses.
  3. It is finally suggested that similar studies be carried out in other state of the federal to make for more generalization.

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