The study examined the roles and the effectiveness of professional
secretaries within government parastatals, using Ministry of Agriculture and Environment
as a study. The study adopted survey design using primary source of data with
questionnaire as instrument of data collection. A total of 150 questionnaires
were administered to level five to seven out of which 142 were duly filled and
returned. Chi-square statistical method was used to verify the degree of
significance of roles and level of effectiveness of Professional Secretaries.
The result of the findings show
succinctly those Professional secretaries are not effective in
government parastatals. This was affirmed using respondents’ opinion to
research question one and the conclusion drawn from hypothesis one in which it
was concluded that Professional secretaries are not effective in government
parastatals. The study further revealed that ICT have significant impact on the
performance of Professional secretaries.
It was also established that ICT skills have improved the effectiveness
of Professional secretaries. This was
affirmed using respondents’ the conclusion drawn from hypothesis three in which
it was concluded that ICT skills have improved the effectiveness of
Professional secretaries. Based on the
findings the study recommends that Government parastatals should engage the
secretaries in on the job training and off the job training especially in the
area of using ICT, which without doubt will enhance their job performance, the
Ministries should acquire and adopt ICT infrastructure within the parastatals,
and More research needs to be done in the area of ascertaining the relevance of
professional secretaries’ usefulness within the ministries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents v
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 2
1.3 Aim and
Objectives of the Study 5
Research Questions 5
Research Hypotheses 5
of the Study 6
1.7 Scope of the
1.8 Definition of
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE
2.1 Preamble 9
Review of related Literatures 10
2.5 Types of
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH
3.1 Preamble 21
of the Study 22
3.4 Sampling, Procedure and Sample Size 22
3.5 Data Collection Instrument and Validation 22
3.6 Method of Data Analysis 23
of the Methodology 23
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND
ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1 Introduction 25
4.2 Analysis According to the Research
4.3 Test of Hypothesis 31
4.4 Discussion of findings 34
FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary 37
5.3 Recommendation 39
1.1 Background to the Study
The role of a secretary is
indispensable in every organization especially in public
sector.(Azih,2013) A secretary according
to Mayer cited in Azih (2013) is an executive assistant who possess a mastery
of office skills, demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility with or
without supervision, exercises initiatives and judgment and makes decision with
the scope of assigned authority. The secretary is a public relations expert, a
staff assistant, the boss’s office memory. The secretary is responsible for
much of the detail work of the office and is expected to carry out the duties
with a minimum of supervision and direction. According to Nwosu as cited in
Azih (2013) A Secretary is expected to represent the organization and the
employer attractively to the public and generate good human relations in
working with all employees in the organization. This explains that a qualified
secretary should have a wide knowledge of business acumen, be versatile in
office practice, communication and knowledge of the operation of all
departments within the organization where he works, unlike a half-baked
secretary who possesses only knowledge of shorthand, typewriting and basic
office practices (Azih,2013).
Duniya (2011) observed that due to
the introduction of sophisticated technological (electronic) office equipment
into today’s office and the role secretaries need to play in ensuring accuracy
and efficiency in their jobs, the secretaries need to meet the challenges by
acquiring new skills and competencies for efficient operations in the
electronic office. There is continuous advancement in technology which has
affected the secretarial profession in terms of the quality, speed and accuracy
of works performed. This has led to the introduction of various electronic facilities
to ensure adequate secretarial practice in organization. It is essential that
secretaries are properly trained on the usage of these modern facilities to
enhance their level of productivity. The proficiency level of a secretary is
highly determined by the availability and usage of modern office technology
provided in the office environment as well as the acquired skills and
competencies of the secretary (Nwaokwa and Okoli, 2012). This is based on the
fact that modern offices are automated. Automation is a collection of methods
for controlling machinery and production processes by mechanical method,
usually with electronic equipment (Akpomi and Ordu, 2009). Automation entails
an integration of work station where the secretary would have access to the electronic
equipment needed to create, process, store, retrieve and disseminate
information. The advent of automation has ushered in an electronic era whereby
human works are done by machines.
The introduction of modern
Information Communication and Technology equipment has affected the demands of
the modern secretary (Nwaokwa and Okoli, 2012). The duties of secretaries have
been revolutionized especially in the areas of communication,
telecommunication, micrograph and reprography. The technology has replaced
mechanical technology; new technologies are replacing the old ones. Typing,
keyboarding and voice processing are now used in place of dictation and
carbonizations. In the area of reprography stencil duplication has been
replaced by computer print outs and Xeroxing systems. In the area of micrograph
and telecommunications, horizontal suspension and other systems are now
replaced by compact disc run and d-base computer systems. Telephones have gone
digital while teleconferencing, internet and networking are currently used. The
modern office unlike the traditional office makes use of e-mail, fax and other
telecommunication equipment. It is imperative to note that currently there is a
high demand for skilled and technological trained workers. Regrettable, most
secretarial graduates acquire theoretical knowledge which does not match well
with the demands of work place.
However, there is acute shortage of
trained personnel in the application of software, operating system, network
communication and local technicians to service and repair computer facilities.
However, the secretaries today are not only required to have theoretical and
practical knowledge and skills in ICT computer operations, but to be exposed to
the use of some computer packages like excel, data base management, etc. They
should be conversant with the issue of interconnectivity, ecommerce, skills in
browsing the website, skills in data protection techniques and security and
adequate knowledge of how to use search engines to gain access to lots of
educational resources. In a study carried out by Ntukidem (2000), he found out
that advancement in technology has continued unabated and has enriched and
widened the scope and practice of the secretarial profession in terms of work
quality, speed, accuracy and variety. He also concluded that today, the
secretarial profession is faced with array of telecommunication tools and
facilities based on modern technology.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The roles and effectiveness of
professional secretaries is becoming imperative relative to advancements in the
area of information of communication and technology. Communication technologies
are new innovations in offices that enable the discharge of office functions
more rapidly and efficiently (Nwaokwa and Okoli, 2012). The emergence of office
technologies in modern day organizations has challenged the occupational skills
of the employees including the secretaries. Hence, these communication
technologies have recently revolutionized office skills and rendered some
skills such as transcription skills,
typing on the manual typewriters obsolete and has also given rise to previously
unknown skills such as web design, desktop publishing, networking, internet
skills, etc., in modern organizations. This development has obviously
challenged the skills and functions of secretaries.
These advancements in communication
technologies has led to the need for secretaries to reposition themselves in
other to continue to be relevant in their performance of office functions as
well as cope with the trend of technological changes in today’s modern offices.
It is against the backdrop of these
ICT-centric roles and functions of secretaries this study will be evaluating
the roles and effectiveness of professional secretaries in selected government
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the
The broad objective of
this study is to critically evaluate the roles and effectiveness of
professional secretaries in selected government parastatals, other specific
objectives include the following:
Determine the roles professional
secretaries in government offices
Identify the skills required that will
enhance their performance as professional secretaries.
Examine the role ICT plays in the
effectiveness of professional secretaries.
Evaluate the importance of professional
secretaries in government parastatals.
1.4 Relevant Research
The principal question of
this research is: what are the roles of professional secretaries and what makes
them effective? This research will also try to provide answers to the following
sub-questions in the course of this study:
What roles do professional secretaries
play in government parastatals?
What skills do professional secretaries
need for job performance?
What roles does ICT play enhancing the
performance of professional secretaries?
What is the importance of professional
secretaries in government establishment?
1.5 Relevant Research
In the course of this study two null
hypotheses will be fully examined
Ho: Professional secretaries do not have
significant roles in government parastatals
secretaries are not effective in government parastatals.
Ho: ICT does not have significant impact on the
performance of Professional secretaries
H1: ICT have significant impact on the
performance of Professional secretaries
Ho: ICT skills have not improved the
effectiveness of Professional secretaries
H1: ICT skills have improved the
effectiveness of Professional secretaries
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be significant in the
A better understanding on the roles and
what makes professional secretaries effective.
Ascertain the skills necessary and
required to enhance the performance of professional secretaries.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will be examining few
secretaries in just two selected government establishment, which ministry of
environment and ministry of agriculture. This study restricts itself to ICT
skills required for professional secretaries to be able to perform their roles
and become effective in the 21st century.
1.8 Definition of Terms
person employed by an individual or in an office to assist with correspondence,
make appointments, and carry out administrative tasks.
information and communications technology - or technologies is an
umbrella term that includes any communication device or application,
encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware
and software, satellite systems and so on.
Desktop Publishing: the production of printed matter by means of a printer linked to a
desktop computer, with special software. The system enables reports,
advertising matter, etc., to be produced cheaply with a layout and print
quality similar to that of typeset books.
telephone is one of the means of communication used within and outside the
organization. The mode of use of telephone in an organization is determined by
the size of the organization
Fascimile (Fax) machine: This machine sends and receives documents and letters over
telephone lines reproducing both text and pictures.
is the process of producing many copies of original document. The equipment
varies in size depending on the volume of multiple copies to be made. Equipment
under reprography are photocopier, cyclostyling/mimeograph machines and
entails the photographic reduction of images of text into slide stripes.
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