Professional Ethics In Secretarial Practice And The Level Of Job Performance Of Secretaries

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM


This research project was carried out using The Polytechnic Ibadan, Adeseun Ogundoyin Campus, Eruwa as a case study.

Categories of Secretaries and HOD/HOU were used to gather information on the above topic. Questionnaire and interviews were methodology adopted.

It was discovered that training played a major impact on the Job performance of Secretaries, but it is not is isolation as other factors also contributed to the performance of Secretaries.

It was recommended among other terms that student and secretaries should make use of all available training facilities at their disposal.

In conclusion, Improvement of Secretarial Professional Ethics on Job Performance cannot be overemphasized in other to make the professional a noble one.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

Ethics is the systematic study of the norms of human behavior. It is the discipline which studies the moralities of human conduct and the principle of moral behavior.

It relates to character and conduct in terms of the distinction between knowing what is right from those things that are wrong. Equally, ethics contributes the principle by which people can live together successfully in a sustainable society. Omole (2002) says Ethics is the shared normative values which any society holds dearly and are used to judge the behavior or performance of any member of that society. It set out the minimum acceptable behavior which any member should attain to be regarded as a good ambassador of the society.

Ethics is more difficult to enforce than law as in other profession, it is also better to allow the individual practitioners conscience to be his or her guide and judge. The secretary like their typist sp, indulges in so many inethical acts because of money and some other vices.

Jereny Benthan (1848-1932) and John Staff Mills (1870-1931) concluded by saying “for one to be morally upright virtuous or his action to be morally justified, he should bring about great amount of happiness to quite a lot of people.

There are certain actions which human beings will condemn as morally wrong. The society at large frowns, at embezzlement, rogues, adulterers, liars etc and they are said to be involved in immoral actions. However, actions like hospitality, respect for human life, honesty and trustfulness are regarded as moral actions.

Omoregbe (1993), says “Ethics is concerned with fundamental principles of morality where some actions are labeled as either good or bad, right or wrong, ethical or unethical. Moral historians are of the opinion that although what is held to be right or good concept of right or wrong are generally universal. Moral concept change as social life changes.

A profession is a calling, a vacation, especially in an occupation involving high education or technical qualification to be competent, and conscientious. It is what one shows great skill and competence in.

The profession entails truthfulness objectivity, honesty and likes i.e the canons and the codes of the profession must be strictly taken into cognizance, in other not to dent the image of the profession and secretaryship as the life-wire of a company/organization.

Furthermore Olufemi Onabanjo (2003) said an act is morally good if it does no harm to anybody, the views that human nature is basically goes has many supporters in the ethical field of philosophy.

A secretary can be described as anybody who is assigned to record sp of a meeting, irrespective of his or her secretarial skills. The Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary of Current English describes a secretary as an employee in an office who deals with correspondence, keeps records makes arrangements and appointment for members of staff. “The catalyst”, a magazine of Oyo State public services, described a secretary as “someone who acts on behalf of the boss. They can be regarded as the co-coordinator of administrative work of a given department. Secretary deals with the day-to-day activities of establishment, he serves as an image maker of the establishment to the outside world and part of this ethics is to keep all information in the office secret.

The secretaries profession is a dynamic one. This is not because they need secretaries in every organization, but because one of the yard sticks for judging the growth and standard of an organization is the quality of its secretarial service. The secretarial profession require some qualities according to Olufemi Onabanjo (2004), says a secretary must have the following qualities:


A secretary must be sincere in whatever the situation she may find herself.


A secretary is not expected to be sincere in expression of any opinion but also to be up and doing At all times. She must not be show in all her work.

Discretion and Loyalty:

The private secretary will frequently in the cause of her duties require a great deal of wisdom in handling some matters, some of whixch may be of special interest to outsiders.


A secretary should not be an introvert in nature that is she must be the type that mixes freely with people both within and outside the firm or organization.

Common sense and Initiative:

A secretary needs to exercise common sense in handling the unexpected situations as well as ordinary routine matters.

The secretary professional has suffered many set back years. Some of causes of the set back are due to some unethical attitudes of secretaries to their job, their boss, co-workers and member of the public. The female secretaries for example, have been known to be having immoral sex relationship with their boss in the course of discharging duties. Some use to leave their work undone, going from office to office to gossip and backbite, some will absent themselves from work in the tertiary institution, it is drastically reduce the unethical behavior from what it usually look like before.

In other to bring secretaryship to a profession status, secretarial association has set some minimum required academic qualification for entry into profession. These include: A secretary must possess Good General Education, Proficiency in Shorthand and Typewriting, Good practical knowledge of Account and knowledge of secretarial procedures. They must have interest in Current Affairs.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

It has been observed that some secretaries behave unethically to their bosses, collogues and also to customers and clients.

Some secretaries behave in a way that even if they are good in their field, the way they behave does not allow them to gain their promotion as at when due.

Secretaries negative behavior leads to something which they do not critically suppose to have. It is therefore, necessary to examine behavior, characters and conduct expected of secretaries in recent times to find out whether there is measure of improvement in their ethical behaviors.

Professional Ethics In Secretarial Practice And The Level Of Job Performance Of Secretaries

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