Causes And Effects Of Stress On The Job Performance Of The Secretary (A Case Study Of ABC Transport Nigeria Plc)

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM


The purpose of this work was to find out the causes and effects of stress on the performance of the secretary. A questionnaire was drawn up with data which were collected, this was supplemented by observations. The respondents were in ABC Transport Plc. In all, 30 questionnaires were distributed for the study.

From the data collected and analyzed, it was discovered that secretaries face a lot of stressing situations in the course of doing their jobs but that some were more stressful in their effects than others. The three most significant stressors identified were working under dangerous conditions, no motivation and unfair treatment.

The instrument for data collection used for the study was the questionnaire, which consisted of 5 research questions. The result of the study showed that stress is inevitable and have a lot of effects on the secretaries but can be avoided if adequately managed. Recommendations were made that secretaries should clearly outline her numerous official and domestic functions daily and attend to them adequately. They should learn to put their emotions under control and manage their stress by practicing time and role management.

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 Significant of the study
  • 1.5 Research questions

Chapter Two

2.0 Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 An overview of the concepts of stress
  • 2.2 Causes of stress on job performance of secretaries
  • 2.3 Effect of stress on job performance of the secretary
  • 2.4 Effect of stress on your health
  • 2.5 Secretarial functions that are most stressful
  • 2.6 Measures to curb stress on the job
  • 2.7 Summary of literature reviewed

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Design of the study
  • 3.2 Area of the study
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Sample/sampling techniques
  • 3.5 Method of data collection
  • 3.6 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Research question
  • 4.2 Research question
  • 4.3 Research question
  • 4.4 Research question
  • 4.5 Research question
  • 4.6 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Restatement of the problems
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Limitation of the study
  • 5.4 Implication of the study
  • 5.5 Conclusion
  • 5.6 Recommendations
  • 5.7 Suggestion for further research
  • References
  • Appendix I
  • Appendix II

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Stresses encountered by secretaries in the field of their jobs in business organization are numerous to mention. Stress can be defined as the non-specific reaction of the body to the demand made on it by external or internal stimulus events called stressors. Stress as emotional process has psychological and physiological implications, Han Seyle, (2000).

ABC Transport Plc has made life miserable for some secretaries working in them for their inability to meet up with one demand or other. Many professional secretaries experience conflicts because of office demands which is consuming most of their time, thereby neglecting their home duties to the background. Conflicts occur because the person want to devote adequate attention to both family and office work, Lazarus, (2006).

The causes of this stress emanates from poor conduct of the managers who do forget that the secretary is the heart beat of an organization. Before any firm or organization attain its aim, their secretaries must be kept abreast and be involved in everything going on in the organization.

The roles and functions of the secretaries are basic to the organization, this range from covering meetings, taking care of all office routine duties, keeping schedules in both her’s and her boss’s desk dairies for complete and effective job performance up to date and supervising subordinates as well as keeping other general information in the office. In the organization, she is also important because of her ability to remain calm under extra-ordinary condition of work pressures and human demands.

John and Micheal (2007), opined that the work of secretaries are stressful in the sense that they the head and eye of the organization. Sometimes secretaries feel depressed and discourages because of the work fully packed for them and there is inadequate time to tackle all these jobs, even at that, the manager will shouting on them to hurry up, and as the secretary looks around and finds no help, stress arises.

As mentioned earlier, secretaries are the heart beat of any organization; therefore organizations should sit up to make life meaningful for the secretaries working in them to achieve their aim.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Stress comes as a result of overworking oneself. Over work may emanate from the manager of an organization or the secretary herself. A situation where the manager fails to recruit more workers in the organization, this will generate many stressful conditions for secretaries working in them, running helter skelter which may lead to frustration, tension and anxiety and as a result implicates her to various forms of problems.

The secretary herself causes stress in the job, as a result of her inability to schedule her time according to her engagements, that is, using her limited time to cover a lot of things.

Hence the sources of stress have been measured, it is now left for both managers and secretaries to come together and share their time according to their engagements in order to curb stress on that job.

1.3 Purpose of the study

The major purpose of this study was to find out the causes and effects of stress on the job performance of secretaries. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Discuss the concept of stress
  2. Find out causes of stress on the secretaries
  3. Identify effects of stress on job performance of the secretaries
  4. Ascertain problems arising from secretary’s stress on the achievement of organizational goal.
  5. Find out measures to curb stress on the job performance of the secretary.

1.4 Significant of the study

The research was of great importance to the society, it was useful to professional secretaries. It was hoped that after some findings of this work, secretaries will be in a better position to find out causes of stress and avoid them whenever possible and control the effect on their performance. This should lead to a better job performance.

Ignorance of how to treat a secretary in order to get her best performance maybe one of the reasons the secretary is subjected to stressful condition at the place of work. It is hoped that after going through this work, the boss will be better informed as to handle a secretary to get maximum performance.

Sometimes, professional secretary trainers are hopelessly out to conduct with what is required of secretary at the place of work so that training programmes are not up to what they should be. This will help trainers to identify vital training areas on which to lay emphasis and from time to time improve on facilities to meet with modern office procedures.

1.5 Research questions

To achieve the purpose of the study, the following research questions were formulated as a guide;

  1. What are the concepts of stress?
  2. What are the secretarial functions that are most stressful?
  3. What are the various kinds of stress?
  4. What are the causes and effects of stress on the secretary’s performance?
  5. What are the effects of stress on the secretaries?

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendation


This chapter presented a restatement of the problems, summary of the findings, conclusion and recommendation. It also contained the limitations of the study and suggestions for further research.

5.1 Restatement of the problems

This study was earlier stated to investigate the causes and effects of stress on secretaries working in ABC Transport Plc. A survey of ABC Transport Plc stress has been a threat to the well being of secretaries. It has also been viewed as a threat that makes secretaries to suffer from psychological and behavioural consequences of stress which can metamorphose to serious health problems that may stop the secretary from working for a long time and to produce less, become less attentive to the feelings of others.

However, the study has discovered ways through which stress can be managed such as relaxation, exercise and seeking of help, if secretaries will efficiently productive.

This research work has five (5) research questionnaires containing a total number of thirty (30) questions which was accurately answered by the respondents. It adopted the survey method which was effective since opinion of secretaries working in ABC transport Plc was sought. A population of thirty (30) secretaries was drawn from the organization and because the population was relatively small, it was used as sample size. This was done to reduce sample bias and to get for representation. The sample mean score on a four point scale was used as method of data analysis and mean score of 2.5 and above was significant.

5.2 Summary of findings

Based on findings, the following observations and facts were revealed;

  1. It was found in research question one (1) that secretaries working in ABC transport Plc need to understand the concept of stress, so as to know what stress is all about and know how to handle it effectively.
  2. Research question two (2) revealed that secretaries should know causes of stress on their job performance and avoid them.
  3. It was found in research question three (3) that secretaries should be aware of the effects enhance their work output, accuracy and perfection.
  4. Research question four (4) also revealed that secretaries should know those secretarial functions that are most stressful in order to find remedies to achieve adequate performance.
  5. Finally, it was found in research question five (5) that secretaries should know the possible solutions to the problems encountered in their works to produce an excellent result.

5.3 Limitations of the study

This research on the process carrying it out encountered minor constraints which include lack of finance and time factor due to much work on the secretaries working in ABC transport Plc, Owerri North LGA.

5.4 Implications of the results

As regards to the implications of the results, stress can affect the performance of secretaries and workers in every perspective if not properly handled. However, this went further saying that stress could be managed. Based on these implications of the results, the following was revealed;

  1. It was revealed that stress is inevitable, that is, it can affect anyone and the security is not an exemption carrying out the routine functions.
  2. It was also seen that those wop tend to react to stress with high psychological reaction are more prone to stress than others. These people are often angry, anxious and depressed easily.
  3. It was revealed that stress could be positive and negative. It is positive when it relates to a happy event and negative when it relates to sad events.
  4. Finally, it can metamorphose to psychological emotion and psychological threat to the secretaries. In other hand, it can be managed.

5.5 Conclusion

In this light of the findings in the research work, the following conclusions were reached that:

  1. Secretaries performs a wide range of duties, some which are stressful than others.
  2. Both domestic and official affairs can cause stress to the secretary and this can indeed be depressing.
  3. It was also concluded that stress has a lot of effects on secretaries which could be psychological, physiological or behavioural. Some causes of stress has greater effects on the secretaries, example; death of a loved one, divorce, etc.

5.6 Recommendation

Based on the conclusion reached, the following recommendations are hereby proffered;

  1. The secretary should clearly outline her numerous official and domestic functions daily, place them in order of priority giving due attention to programming them in such a way that realistic time is allowed to them.
  2. The secretary should attend to her official and domestic duties adequately, maintain a cordial relationship with spouse and in-laws. This could make them to understand her and encourage her in her official responsibilities.
  3. Secretaries should learn to put their emotions under control in time of stressful events, example, death of a loved one, and divorce. Avoid running into crisis.
  4. Secretaries should identify the stressors to avoid psychological, physiological or behavioural effects which they bring. She should also find ways of averting them.
  5. Secretaries should also learn how to manage their stress by practicing time and role management, increase social support, family planning and exercise.

5.7 Suggestion for further research

This study could be extended to other transport companies in Owerri North and even beyond. It could also be extended to secretaries in institutions of higher learning.

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