1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Most writers on secretarial duties, secretarial management and office organization have carefully avoided the duties, levels and positions of professional secretaries except for the volume of letter, memo etc. type or minutes and pages of report prepared by them.
Clearly stated, the rules and levels or positions of secretaries are aimed at establishing ideas but it is in an attempt to discover and lay down those rules and lends, which should be followed that we discover some factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in organizations. Some of these duties were not enforced, but a branch of them normally provoke public condemnation and effect their growth. With the unfolding circumstances. The profession is fact acquiring a distinction as one of the most versatile essential services of modern economic communities. Nonetheless, the profession is becoming challenging and too many people perhaps enroll into the ranks as a future prospect. With more technological and industrial development, the secretary shall fully realize his potentials in the country. (Utomi; 1990).
As defined by National Secretaries’ Association (International), a secretary is an executive assistant who possesses a mastery of office skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibly without direct supervision, who exercise initiative and judgment and who takes decision within the scope of assigned authority. With the above definition we can see that the present day secretary is a potential officer. A secretary is indispensable to management and it is true that a good secretary can make an average manager very effective and also a bad secretary can make an able executive very ineffective. (Odenigbo; 1990).
Lack of job description for secretaries has led to the misappropriation of skills unequal distribution of work, low morals, and bored (Appt; 1979). He stressed thereafter, that each secretarial position should be analyzed and task requirements of the job identified for better job description.
Job description of secretarial staff should contain a statement bout what a secretary does on the job and what she knows and should include also other classes of things that are done on the job such as preparation of a venue for meeting provision of refreshments, seeing to the cleanliness of the office which do not actually relate to the basic skills (Mayes and Beach, 1967).
Experience has shown that inspite of all that a secretary does to promote the image of the organization little or even the very boss whom she serves accords her no recognition. Lack of recognition and undefined job role have contributed to the poor self-image of a secretary in the Nigerian society. It is common that anyone who can type is referred to as a secretary by many, despite his not possessing the skills required of a secretary. This misconception of who a secretary is and what she does had led to non-challenging job experiences, law payment and lack of respect by the executive for whom she works. As a result, secretary are either underused or overused by organization without creating any room for their advancement. A situation whereby the advancement and promotion of secretaries depend solely upon her boss does not encourage personal initiative.
It is therefore necessary to look into those factors that effect the advancement of secretaries in our business organizations
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The position of the secretary in any organization is very distinct. She is very essential and an image-maker of the organization. She is the mirror of her organization while some describe her as the life wire of the organization. Hence it because doubtful if any chief executive can discharge his duties properly without the assistance of a secretary.
Apart from being an administrative assistance the secretary perform such other functions such as clerical and receptionist duties and in some cases does some accounting jobs, which are not quite in line with her job description. The work of the secretary cuts across every aspect of the organization’s activity. As a result of being and all purpose staff, the secretary has been described by some schools of thought as an “unclassified” office personnel who is neither here nor there.
In the actual sense, a worker should be assessed based on his / her job description such assessment gives room for promotion and recognition.
Unfortunately, the secretary is not assessed based on the duties in corporate in her job description to recondite what she is doing with what she is supposed to do. The discrepancy between job description and the actual job done by the secretary does not given room for proper assessment thereby making promotion and advancement to be hindered.
This work therefore is aimed at discussing the various factors, which affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations, and seeing how such factors can be elimination.
Such factors to be discussed includes:
• Structure of the profession
• Work competences of secretaries
• Relationship with management
• Relationship with other workers
• Lack of protection from formal organization.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to discuss the factors that affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in some selected private organizations in Enugu Urban.
This will be done by determining:
• Whether the structure of the profession in Nigerian is always such that secretaries are subordinate to higher authorities and executives.
• Whether work competencies of a secretary affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in Enugu State.
• Whether the working relationship between management and secretaries affect the advancement of secretaries in business organization in Enugu State.
• Whether the failure of formal organization in Nigeria to protect and project the secretarial profession affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations.
• Whether the working relationship between the secretaries and other workers affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in Enugu State.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work covers only two business organizations namely; National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Emenite Limited Enugu due to limited time and scare resources.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• What are the factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in a business organization?
• Does the structure of the profession as always subordinate to a higher authority and executives improve the advancement of secretaries?
• To what extent does the relationship with co-workers improve the advancement of secretaries in business organizations?
• To what extent does the relationship between secreareis and management improve the advancement of secretaries in business organization in Enugu State?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will reveal the factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in business organizations.
It is sincerely hoped that the findings of this study will be of immense benefit to secretaries of organizations who are not only going to have a well defined job description but will also have a brighter prospect for growth on their professions.
The findings of this research of adopted by business organizations will help boost the output of the organizations since a more cordial atmosphere will now exist between the secretaries and management.
With a brighter future and unlimited growth for secretaries, the findings of this research project will encourages young people to take to secretarial profession and seek employment in business organizations.
Nigeria as a nation stands to gain from the result of his research since the success of all business organizations put together will ensure an increased foreign exchange earning and a better standard of living for the citizenry.
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