Secretarial Profession And Public Perception
This study was carried out on secretarial profession and public perception using staff of state secretariat Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. To carry out the study, 10 research questions were posed. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study was done in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The population of the study comprised of the staffs of state secretariat Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The population size of the study was 80. The instrument for data collection in this study was structured questionnaire titled: secretarial profession and public perception (SPAPP). Data collected were analyzed using frequency Table and the hypothesis were tested using chi-square and Pearson correlation statistical tool. SPSS v23. The major findings of the study disclosed that; Public perception of female secretaries does not influence her job performance; There a professional relationship that exist between secretaries and their bosses; Female secretaries are not treated as inferior by their bosses; Female secretaries does not divulge office related confidential information of their boss; The secretarial work expressly does not affect private lives of married and unmarried female secretaries.
Based on the findings; the research recommended that Secretarial profession should not be undervalued or underestimated by the public because secretaries are as import as their bosses due to the fact that they perform a measure of managerial and administrative functions. As stipulated by Jeflex (2009), the efficiency and effectiveness of every manager or officers is dependent on the expertise of their secretaries as the secretaries are the managerial strength behind their daily activities.
1.1 Background of Study
Action and reaction are both governed by the society or public. Many are societal animals, who live and relate with the public as a whole. Sociologists have put it that “Man is not an island” that is, he cannot live in isolation. He cannot live in isolation. He must interact and relate with other people. With the above sociological perception, It is directly pertinent to state that man’s choice of career. His attitude to it and ultimately his performance are influenced by the public opinion or perception of his profession. Secretaries are indispensable in every organizational setup be it large or small, no organization can function effectively in the absence of an effective secretary. In the past the secretary was taken to be an employee usually a lady who sits behind a typewriter, where as this is not so. A secretary is in special position of trust and responsibility. Apart from taking diction dictation and transcribing the same on the typewriter, he handles administrative duties connect with processing, keeping and preservation of information to the more complex process of computerization and microfilming towards effective control of information for the accomplishment of the organizational. The secretaries are important officers in establishment; you hardly find an organization without a secretary. The work of the secretaries is of great importance to the organizations and the nation at large. The secretaries are found in every type of business organizations where personal services such as insurance, accounting, banking, advertising e.t.c are carried out, services to the general public, the secretaries have vital roles to play in organization like the local government, hospital, universities, colleges, social and welfare establishments and so on, the secretaries role cannot be over stressed. The secretaries operate and link the executives and the society even the other employees. Secretaries relieve their bosses of a great task of routine works and enquire by attending to callers. This is done by taking their messages, giving them the necessary information and allowing them to o about their businesses without disturbing their bosses. This may be through personal calls, telephone or through letters composed and mailed by secretaries. Having passed basic training in shorthand, good command of English and type mail able letters of a routine instructions, the secretaries arrange meetings, concisely compile minutes, record reports and logically arrange them. The secretaries are the bed rock in must executives. Their contributions and effectiveness enhance the efficiency of any organization. The secretarial profession is absolutely essential to the nation because it promotes the nation more than any other profession. It therefore means that secretaries must be people of high responsibilities, competence, dedication, morals and experience those vital duties perfectly. The society outlook regarding secretaries’ profession is diversified depending on individuals and the organisation. There are few people who have positive views regarding the profession having known the effective role played by the secretaries, the qualities entailed and the attributes (business and personal) exhibited by them. Notwithstanding, there are so many people with negative perception towards the profession, they are frustrated persons, some group of people that are good for typing and shorthand alone. And so many others any employee who sits behinds a typewriter is a secretary. Gone are those days when the profession was looked down upon, when people regard it as a profession for the less fortunes, prostitutes, copy-typist and unrecognized people, a profession for medioevers, female folk and the unsuccessful.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Secretarial profession is absolutely essential and contributes immensely to humanity. But from time immemorial, the profession had encountered a lot of allegation from the society despite its indispensability and its responsibilities to the nation, people tend to have different perceptions towards the profession. Some people feel that the secretarial profession entails some rigid skills that cannot be coped with especially shorthand. Some other thinks that is dominated by dullards, the unfortunate and the unsuccessful. A lot of people believe that secretarial have an indecent affair with their bosses due to intimacy established between the secretaries and their bosses. The researcher intends to investigate some of the above allegation as well as to verify how the secretaries interact with the public to attract positive or negative attitude towards the secretarial profession.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The objectives of the study are;
- To find out the kind of relationship that exists between the secretaries and their bosses as well as the public.
- To know whether the secretaries actually meet up with the required roles and qualities.
- For the secretaries to detect and correct their areas of deficiency, if any, in the performance of their duties keep the society aware of the secretaries’ responsibilities as well to acquaint the readers with the qualification required for the profession.
- For the executives to know the importance of both female and male secretaries in an organisation and the need to train and equip them with modern machine so as to meet today’s challenges especially in administrative responsibilities, office system and technology and even more managerial skills which profession outstanding.
1.4 Research Question
- Does public perception of female secretaries is influence her job performance?
- Is there any relationship between secretaries and their bosses?
- Are female secretaries treated as inferior by their bosses?
- Does female secretaries divulge office related confidential information of their boss?
- Does the secretarial work expressly affect private lives of married and unmarried female secretaries?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
- H0: The public perception of female secretaries is of no importance in influencing job performance
H1: The public perception of female secretaries is of importance in influencing job performance
- H02: There is no relationship between secretaries and their bosses
H2: There is relationship between secretaries and their bosses
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will reveal some of the fact responsibilities for public attitudes towards secretaries. It will also enlighten the public on the difference between a confidential secretary and a copy-typist. To be generally aware of the secretarial profession and its involvement. It will give the executives, the opportunity to critically asses their secretary’s performance and see the need for their training to enhance development and their efficiency. It will enable fellow secretaries to know people’s perception about their profession so as to improve their tactfulness, be dedicated to their profession and exhibit their discretion intelligently and in appropriate manner. The researcher believes that this project will serve as a source of encouragement to the potential secretaries that might have decided to change their career to other profession base on allegations laid on the secretaries.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study covers secretarial profession and public perception. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational Privacy:
Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.8 Definition of Terms
A secretary refers to personal assistant to an executive, professionally skilled to demonstrate the ability to assume responsibilities without supervision. The secretary exercises initiatives and make decisions without their areas of assigned authority.
In public relations and communication science, public are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings.
Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on secretarial profession and public perception using staff of state secretariat Port-Harcourt, Rivers Stateas case study”. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine the view of the general public on secretarial profession. The study specifically was aimed at finding out the kind of relationship that exists between the secretaries and their bosses as well as the public; to know whether the secretaries actually meet up with the required roles and qualities; For the secretaries to detect and correct their areas of deficiency, if any, in the performance of their duties keep the society aware of the secretaries’ responsibilities as well to acquaint the readers with the qualification required for the profession; For the executives to know the importance of both female and male secretaries in an organisation and the need to train and equip them with modern machine so as to meet today’s challenges especially in administrative responsibilities, office system and technology and even more managerial skills which profession outstanding.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are active staff of state secretariat Port-Harcourt, Rivers State..
Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:
- Public perception of female secretaries does not influence her job performance.
- There a professional relationship that exist between secretaries and their bosses.
- Female secretaries are not treated as inferior by their bosses.
- Female secretaries does not divulge office related confidential information of their boss.
- The secretarial work expressly does not affect private lives of married and unmarried female secretaries.
Secretarial profession should not be undervalued or underestimated by the public because secretaries are as import as their bosses due to the fact that they perform a measure of managerial and administrative functions. As stipulated by Jeflex (2009), the efficiency and effectiveness of every manager or officers is dependent on the expertise of their secretaries as the secretaries are the managerial strength behind their daily activities.
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