Impact Of Information Technology On Secretarial Profession In Nigeria
This study aims to investigate the impact of modern office technologies on secretaries productivity levels at the Head office of the Ministry of Education. The study employed a total of 60 respondents from the various categories displayed on the table below. The primary data were gathered through the use of questionnaires, interviews, field observation and documentary sources. The results showed that there exist a correlation between the usage of office equipments and the level of productivity. This study is beneficial to higher Institutions and teachers as well, in that it would induce them to install some of these newly introduced office equipment, as to enable the students practice before their graduation and not just teaching them theoretically. This research study will also be of help to subsequent researchers that may be interested in doing more work in this area of study with a view of recommending how to tackle these challenges brought about by modern technology.
1.1 Background of Study
By the mid 20th Century, humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the atmosphere of the earth for the first time and explore space. According to Merriam-Webster (2007) technology is making usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. The word technology comes from Greek, the term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: example include construction technology and information technology.
Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology h as helped develop more advanced economies (including todayâ€™s global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes product unwanted by-products: known as pollution and deplete natural resources, the determinants of the earth and its environment. Various implementations of technologies influences the value of a society and news technology often rises new ethical questions examples include the rise of efficiency interm of human productivity, a term originally approved to machines and the challenge of traditional norms.
According to Franklin Ursula (1952) Traditionally, new technology has been concerned with the construction of machines, structures, and tools on a relatively large scale. The development of materials for building bridges or sky scrapers is an example of this, as is the development of the internalÂ construction engine and the nuclear reactor. While such activities involve all the sciences, from chemistry to nuclear physics, the overding goal has been the same to improve the human condition by finding better ways to deal with the macroscopic world.
Jaulius Adamaâ€™s (1999) in his views says: Since world War II, the focus of technological activities has undergone a major change while the old activities are still pursued, they have largely superseded by applications of technology at the microscopic level instead of building large-scale structures and machines modern-day technology tends to concentrate on finding improved ways to transfer information and to develop new materials by studying the way atoms come together. The silicon clip and micro electronics typing the new technological trend, as does the blossoming of genetic engineering. The trend can be expected to continue into the fore seeable future.
With the changing world of technology this day, it is important to say that modern technology has come to stay, and it plays significant role in the improvement of the secretaryâ€™s job which in turns enhances productivity in all aspect.
However Eric Schalzbery (2004) in his views says that with the high rate of technological development in this â€œglobal villageâ€ era, the secretary has come to terms with the reality of having her job greatly enriched and complete business activities going on in modern office. The secretary plays important role in ensuring the proper utilization of these machines for greater productivity.
In the past, most office work had been carried out manually although them the volume of office work had been small and there was less sophistication in the industrial art, hence there was no significant demand for modern technology. But today, when one looks at the basic tasks. In an office, whether it be writing, calculating, filling, sorting or analysis, it is found that office machines cam be used to dot he job better and faster which leads to great achievements and professionalism in the field. There has never been grater need for efficiency in business than there is today. All kinds of businesses. Must employ modern methods in their offices. The raw material of an office is information, and the responsibility of an office is lit that of a clearing house, receiving and sending out information, processing storing facts in various forms. Therefore, the ever increasing size of business organizations has increased the development of new techniques in office management. Unlike in the past, where the secretary made use of old model manual typewriter that does not enhance efficient. Since the secretary is a medium through which the organization actions and policies are conveyed to the public. In readable and disenable form, it is wise that she is exposed to office machines and understand their proper usage so that she can efficiently carryout the routine job of the office. By so doing the organization concern can benefit highly form the services of the secretary.
The secretary is part of the management team since she is completely involved in the affairs of the office and in making and implementation of business plans. She deals with letter drafting and typing, filing processing and storing of information as well as disseminating information. With the office automation such as electronic typewriter Word process, computer, telephone, fax machine, internet, e-mail, photocopier and calculating machines at her disposal, her job is sure to progress swiftly and a boost to attaining productivity in the organization where she works.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Even though modern technology is regarded as important and of high value in ensuring quality work output in an office, as well as bringing about productivity. It is equally believed that these machines can cause job. Displacement. This is the fear that many employees suffer from when new machines are being purchased for use by their organization. The machines are cost effective. Some organizations do not really apply the use of some of the modern machines and this lead to poor performance, this is because they seem not to attach great importance to these machines and most secretaries are ignorant of their uses.
1.3 Purpose of Study
This study is aimed at finding out what the effects of modern technology (invention/innovation of modern office machines) are on the secretarial profession. This study also intends to identify and analyze the relevance and importance of the various office machines to the everyday working life of the secretary.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study is didactic, in that it enlightens the public and secretaries who think, that they cannot be useful again due to the introduction of this new office equipment. This ought to done in order to boost their morals and increase their productivity as well. This study will go along way to encourage practicing secretaries and secretaries in training not to fear about the future prospect of their profession.
This research study is beneficial to higher Institutions and teachers as well, in that it would induce them to install some of these newly introduced office equipment, as to enable the students practice before their graduation and not just teaching them theoretically.
This study will also be of help to subsequent researchers that may be interested in doing more work in this area of study with a view of recommending how to tackle these challenges brought about by modern technology.
1.5 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study therefore are:
- To identify the roles and responsibilities of secretaries and their vitality.
- To discuss about the newly introduced office equipment and its impact on secretarial profession.
- To recommend solutions to these secretaries who think their services are no longer necessary and felt threatened on their profession due to innovations.
- The increasing dependence of modern secretaries on modern office equipment as basis for increasing productivity prompts a vivid research work to find out the extent to which such equipment are better used and the effect they have on the secretary.
- This research will serve as a reference source to the National Board for Technical and School Authorities in up-dating their syllabus in secretarial Administration.
1.6 Delimitations of the Study
The scope of this study is very wide if it has to be carried out in all the modern offices in Nigeria. The study is limited, based on the fact that there is no time and material resources to see the secretaries in the whole Nation.
This study is limited to secretaries in (NEPA-Enugu, in Enugu State) and the findings may not reflect the situation in the whole secretaries in Nigeria, but by and large, what happens to secretaries in NEPA-Enugu can be said to apply to other secretaries in whole Nation.
1.7 Research of the Study
- Is the secretary likely to be more efficient and productive with the use of modern office machines?
- Does technology act as stimulant to the secretary?
- Can modern office machines act as aids that can assist the secretary in her work?
- Is there a likelihood that modern office machines can take over the job of the secretary?
1.8 Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study, it is important to define some of the terms as they were used in the context of this research work so that the terms may not be given a misconstrue.
A secretary is an executive assistant who possesses the mastery of skills, demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility, who exercises initiative and judgment and who makes the decision within the scope of her authority.
This is the branch of knowledge dealing with scientific, industrial method and their practical use in the industry.
It means introducing changes or introducing new things. It implies technical innovations in the office.
Is an electrical or electronic devices, which can both, process raw data and store information, perform mathematical works, logical and equally give a feed back.
Word-Processors are modern typewriters, but have advantages over ordinary typewriters; one is the ability to produce individually typed copies of documents at very high speed; another is that it enables corrections, reformat, and insertions to be made easily to edited draft without the typist having to retype the unaltered portions.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This chapter is the last chapter of the report and its aim is to draw conclusions from the findings of the study in correlation with the literature review, objectives of the study and then make recommendations that enhance the supply chain practices in the banking industry.
5.2 Summary of the Study
The primary purpose of this study is toexamine the impact of modern office technologies on secretaries’ level of productivity at the Head office of the Ministry of Education. Other secondary objectives guided the collection of primary data. A review of existing literature on the subject of Secretarial practices as well as productivity was presented in chapter two. This review explored important issues relating to the concept of secretary, the classification of the functions of the secretary and the secretarial productivity. Beside the secondary data, a primary data was gathered through the use of questionnaires from the sampled population selected for this study. A total of 60 respondents contributed to the findings of this study.
5.3 Finding of the Study
Consistent with discussions and analysis of the primary data that were presented in chapter four of this study, the following findings are highlighted.
5.3.1 The Existence of Modern Office Equipments or Technologies
The primary data collected clearly indicate that MOE (Ministry of Education, Head office and Greater Accra Regional office), has sufficient modern equipments. The data again showed the five major equipments present include the following;
- Telephone equipments (Land and Mobile)
- Personal computers
- Filling equipments
- Pen drives (Storage)
5.3.2 A high Knowledge and Usage of Modern Equipments
The study used employee knowledge of equipment to conclude the level of usage. The correlation is that knowledge suggests usage. Based on this premise the study found that there is a very high knowledge among the staff about these equipments hence the usage of these equipments are significantly high. For instance, respondents’ responses on some equipment were virtually 100%, indicating frequent use. Equipments such as listed below recorded high responses.
- Electronic calculators
- Filling equipments
- Telephone equipments
- Video equipments
5.3.3 A Relationship Between The Use of Office Equipments and Productivity
The study found that there exist a correlation between the use of office equipments and the level of productivity. 86% of the respondents noted that this relationship exists.
5.3.4 Perceptions on Productivity
The study found varied perceptions among the respondents on productivity. For example,
- The high productivity of the entire department
- The fear of laying off due to improvements in levels of productivity
5.4 Conclusions of the Study
In line with the objectives of the study and the data gathered from chapter four, the following conclusions have been reached;
- The Ministry of Education has sufficient modern office equipment and technologies
- There is a high level of usage of these equipments at MOE
- The use of modern office equipment increase productivity of secretarial staff
- The secretarial staff believe they are highly productive.
5.5.1 Consistent Monitoring and Evaluation of the Supply Chain Performance Indicators
Monitoring is the routine and systematic accumulation of information against a plan. The information might be about activities, products or services, users, or about outside factors affecting the organization or project. Evaluation on the other hand is about utilizing monitoring and other information you accumulate to make judgments about the value of any component part of an organization or its projects, products, services or benefits, or about the organization holistically. It is also about utilizing the information to make changes and ameliorations.
Organizations use monitoring and evaluation for to learn about their own activities and results, and to fortify internal plan and development and be accountable to their stakeholders.Generally, organizations undertake two types of monitoring activities to understand how the organization is performing and to identify those areas which require further attention. The two types of monitoring activities are performance monitoring and compliance monitoring.
Performance monitoring involves an in-depth analysis of a process or project, to determine whether it is efficient and efficacious. It involves developing criteria, conducting interviews and examining documentation to determine how the process or project is conducted. Additionally, Compliance monitoring and compliance auditing aim to establish whether a process or procedure is carried out in conformance with pertinent external requisites, whether set through legislation, regulations or directions.
Although there exist high levels of productivity among the secretarial staff at MOE, the business environment has become very competitive and there is no place for firms who relax on the past glory. The secretarial staff department must constantly be made to review their system to discover weaknesses that can quickly be addressed to meet customer satisfaction.
5.5.2 Continuous Staff training in the use of Modern E equipments’
A learning organization where the members are continually gaining knowledge and enhancing their capabilities to aid the organization in adapting to dynamic environments and remain competitively superior over competitors . The driving force behind such an organization is its ability to effectively manage knowledge. The secretarial staff at MOE must constantly be trained to become their very best. The Ministry must invest in continuous training.
5.5.3 Continuous Investment in Modern Office Equipment and Technologies
To maintain a strong competitive advantage and customer satisfaction, the ministry be continually invest in the acquisition of the latest equipments that would enhance the productivity of its staff. For example, the study reveals a lack of video conferencing equipments, and these must be purchased to reduce travelling and promote technological advancement at MOE.
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