1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The word secretary was derived from the Latinword ‘Secret’ meaning someone whoisentrusted with secrets. The secretary can be referred to as a person who has the basic secretarial skills like shorthand, Typewriting, Office Practice and Practical Knowledge of Account, good communication of English Language and experience in office management tobe able to cope with various office works. As it is require of her job, a secretary must be ableto keep the secrets of her company in any condition she finds herself.
The secretary to an executive canalso be said to be somebody possessing masters skills and ability to assume responsibilities without direct supervision, who display initiative, exercise judgement andmake decisions within the scope of her ability. As a good secretary, sheshould be able to stand in place of her boss and make certain decision when the boss is not around so that the job in question will not be left undone. The image of any company whether good or bad depends on the secretary because he or she is the first person that the company’s customer would come in contact with
In the past, secretaries wereoften lookeddown upon as non-functional members of organisation that is, not participating in management duties, but today, the secretary is seen as the life-wire of any business organization. Today, it has been discovered that no executive can function effectively without comment and knowledgeable secretary.
The secretary performs various duties in an organization. Some of the duties of secretary include:
- Receiving dictation and transcribing on the typewriter and typing of businesscorrespondence of her employer.
- Keeping the employer’s diary and arranging his appointments andengagement.
- Making her employer’s travel managements, booking of hotels.
- Attending meetings and regarding the minute.
- Keeping records of investments and income tax, patroller etc.
- Supervision of subordinates and junior secretarial staff in her office.
- Having good knowledge of other office machine apart from the typewriter e.g. computer, photocopy machine, face duplicating machines etc.
- Helping in organizing and collecting office social function.
As the topic is involved, it brought about the uses of the case study of the Ibarapa
Polytechnic, Eruwa that is to say, the secretarial duties promoted the development of Higher Institution in the sense that, secretarial duties aid the improvement of higher institution by impacting knowledge pertaining to the field of secretary to select body of people involved in such field.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Many organizations and institution do not appreciate the work of secretaries. They appreciate the work of secretaries as if the organization can develop without them. Some managers even categorize them on the same level with messengers in the office.
Some top officials seem to think that anybody (regardless of secretarial training) can perform the duties of a secretary. On the other hand, a secretary is regarded as a mere assistant inan office or a second class citizenwhose channels of advancement is beaked.
As a result of this misconception, many people have been discouraged from choosing secretarialjobfor life. The researcher is therefore intended to expose the truth about these misconceived ideas.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of this research work is to examine the contribution of secretaries to the development of higher institution.
The study will also find out whether an organization can develop without a secretary.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The research work will seek answers to the following questions.
- Is your secretary confidential in processing information?
- Do you find work easier with your secretary?
- Are secretaries very much needed in your department?
- Can you make accurate decision without the service of the secretary?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that when this research work is completed, the findings and recommendations will immensely help the aspiring secretaries’ asses the nature of the profession, the demands, the duties and the limitation in their chosen profession.
It is also hoped that the findings and recommendations will convince the general public that the profession is not meant for mediocre or second-class citizens.
On the other hand, it is expected that the employers of labour would begin to appreciate the duties of the secretary.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scopeof the research was focused on thecategories of secretaries and the supporting staffperforming secretarial functions in theIbarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa. This includes confidential secretaries, private secretaries, copy secretaries, clerks performing secretarial functions in all the departments.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the course of the study, the research experienced some constraints, some of which are highlighted below.
Most of the data required for this study mainly came from the Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa, in the form of response toquestionnaire and personal interview. Some of the secretaries refused todeliver sensitive information about the management of the institution.
The inability of some respondents to treat the questionnaire given to them with some degree of seriousness had some adverse effects of the time of completion of this study. This limitation also affected the number of responses collected.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SECRETARY: According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined secretary as a person who works in an office, working for another person dealing with the letters and telephone calls, typing, keeping records, arranging meetings with people etc.
ORGANISATION: It canbe defined as a group of people who form a business together in other to achieve a particular aim.
DEVELOPMENT: It can be defined as the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger etc.
SKILL: Acquisition of practical knowledge of a profession. It is an ability to do something well.
EXECUTIVES:Person or group in business organization, trade, union, establishment with administrative or managerial powers.
ESTABLISHMENT: Group of powerful people who influence or control policies ideas and tastes.