Historically, it has been said that secretarial profession is as old as age itself. The progress of life has record many men and women who have registered their footprints on the sands of time. This development has brought about secretaries who recorded their deeds.
The word secretary is derived from the Latin word “secretaries”, meaning “keeping of secretes”. The earliest records of ancient civilization indicate that scribes were used by the Assyrians as long as the 18th century B.C by the 2nd century BC, scribes had reached professional status and were employed in the libraries of Alexandra to compile materials for Rome’s public libraries. By the 4th century AD scribes were used to assist with the business affairs and personal correspondence of those who could not read and write. Most affairs of government also required the services of the scribes, and then called “secretary”.
Towards the end of the 19th century, with the invention of the typewriter and the Gregg proficiency, secretarial work began to take over duties formally performed by men. These typewriter as secretaries were then called, were trailblazers in business offices. They were eager to trade a life on the farm or factory for a very different life in a business office.
Although their manner was quite, their roles subservient, their dress, conservative, their salary meagre, the historical impact of these women was revolutionary. They were instrumental in changing the whole character of the business office. Today there are several millions secretaries in United State. Though the majority are women, many men are now choosing this as their profession.
Secretaries’ titles range from junior Stenographer to Administration assistant. Their range from taking shorthand and transcribing verbatim, notes on the typewriter, to handling all administrative duties of large modern business organisation. Secretaries may work in different kinds of place form small secretary office to large communication center in major cities.
They may work for many executives or for only one, but their function is basically the same-keeping business smoothly through the application of their secretarial skills and abilities. The status of today’s secretary ranks considerably higher than the status of a secretary 50 years age. The secretary is really an executive and who skill does traditional jobs of taking dictation, typing, filing and handling calls and callers. But in many ways, today’s secretary must the job of the boss better than the boss. It has said that behind every good executive there is a good secretary. Today, there is a tremendous demand for good secretaries, and authoritative sources indicate that this demand will continue to grow.
- SECRETARIAL STUDIES: NATURE
Secretarial practice in all secretarial duties includes administration and
Supervisory functions. The ultimate secretarial functions in the office are preparation and mailing of errorless correspondence. The maintenance supervision of an error-free desk diary the presentation to the executive in concise from as a neat package of everything that the boss may need for each interview report of other items of work in the boss’s daily routine. The organisation to meeting including the preparation of agenda, their distribution to those concerned the sitting in the meeting room, the minute of the meeting itself and the following-up of decisions are matters which the secretary will largely attend to. The secretary will also be expected to organise conferences, arrange executive travel and perform countless other secretarial activities.
Geoffrey White Head of Stated that “secretarial practise” is a term used to describe the procedures and method of work adopted by private secretaries. It is similar to, but at a higher level than office practice. A person performing clerical duties need to have understanding of office practice. A person performing secretarial duties need to understand the higher level of activities described by the term secretarial practice. Office practice contains routine office activities that form the basis of the secretary’s procedures. Executive secretarial practice extends the study of office practice into the higher level of secretarial works, where the secretary who is already familiar with the more routine techniques faces further problem. In spite the manner in which this is assertion has been made, it is certainly not exaggeration of the main functions of the secretary. Rather, the assertion is a reasonable and fair summary of the true nature of secretarial studies as a profession. As the world progresses, administrative managerial functions become more complex thereby increasing the tasks of managers and the like, whose function it is to see to the successful implementation of these ever-increasing functions. The managers are, therefore frequently in need of administrative assistance who can help them to successfully perform their enormous tasks. The purpose of secretary therefore is to complement the effort the manager, thereby facilitating the attainment of the manager’s functional goals in particular and the achievement of the organisation’s objectives in general.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The changing nature of business environment imposes great challenges secretaries as well as other experts in the practice of their profession to the change in technological, social, political and economic to be a potential growth field but nature and extent of its growth in relation of the profession’s age and economic growth, demands a more directional growth. Many factors could be advice to be responsible for the poor performance level in the attainment of professional status. Some of such factor include the origin of the profession, the people who initiated it, the fact that most trained secretaries use the profession as a stepping stone in life, the supportive (submerged) nature of the practitioners in an organisation’s setup the ignorance of the general public, and the general misconception of equating the shorthand typists and stenographers with the trained secretaries. Also the level of education of the pioneers of the profession.
1.3 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
State specifically, the study aims at,
- Ascertaining the popularity and acceptability of the secretary of the employer.
- Finding out that the secretary is and, the productivity standard the secretary should strive to attain, the remuneration appropriate and career prospects.
- Determine how public enlightenment could enhance that professional status of the secretary.
- Knowing whether educational background affects the efficiency of the secretary.
- Finding out the impact of efficiency.
- Making recommendation on the ways of improving the secretary’s professional status.
Drawing from the objectives, i therefore, hypothesize as follows.
- The great contribution of the secretary to the smooth running of the establishment is quite obvious but is not recognized as such.
- Education of the public about their different between the secretary and shorthand-typist will go a long way in raising the status of the secretary.
- The level of education is determinant factor in the efficiency and productivity level of the secretary.
- The secretary is indispensable to a success-bound executive and consequently, the establishment.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
I believe that the study wills no doubt of immense importance to the practicing secretary, employers, and trainers of secretaries, the reader, the writer and the secretarial profession in general. The intentions of this work and the effort of the research is mainly directed to the finding the scope of secretarial practice that is, who is the secretary is, the duties actually performed, the importance of the secretary’s services, the secretarial needs of employers, efficiency and productivity. To the secretary, therefore, the recommendations of his work help in re-orienting his professional practicing effort with a view to addressing his mind to those basics issues.
In so doing, the secretary can improve on his performance, in other words, this study would stimulate efficiency in secretarial practice, and the consequent i professional recognition.
The research hopes to benefit from this study being exposed to secretarial practice in the private sector, and this could afford her the potential of being efficient and successful secretary if she decides to practice on living school. Furthermore, this study is of significance to the researcher in so far as it offers her the opportunity of delving into the office norms and method involved in private secretarial practice. This is no doubt, of immense academic value and practical value to building top secretaries.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SECRETARY: an assistant to an executive; possessing a mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision. Who displays imitative, exercises judgment, and make decision within the scope of his or her judgment.
SHORTHAND-TYPIST: one who performs the primary secretarial functions of taking dictations, transcribing from shorthand notes and presenting the work for signature? He or she may also answer the telephone, deal with mail, receive callers and assist with filing and duplicating, particularly in small organisation.
STENOGRAPHER: Like shorthand-typist, they perform the primary secretarial functions.
EMPLOYER (S): Investor (s) who engages the services of professional and other employees to effect the operation of a business enterprise to enable it achieve its set goals or objectives. They also remunerate these employees according to their qualifications and contribution to the success of the business and condition of services as agreed upon at the time of contracting the employment.
EXECUTIVE (BOSS): the members of management team who make policies and supervise their implementation. They are usually the superior officers of an establishment, which the secretary usually works with.
BUSINESS ENTERPRISE ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHMENT INSTITUTION
Official functional set-up where professional and people in general are engaged to produce goods and services for the benefit of the populace at reasonable charging.
SECRETARIAL STUDIES: this means secretary ship as an art discipline that could be studied or learn.
SECRETARIAL PRACTICE: Being engaged in and performing tasks that are secretarial in nature in an official set-up business enterprise or organizations or an institution.
SECRETARIAL FUNCTIONS: These are the duties and responsibilities, which the secretary is professional, required to carry out in the field.
This is divided into two broad groups:
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: These duties contained here require the basic secretarial skills and abilities and constitute the sole responsibilities of shorthand-typist and stenographers. They constitute the major functions similar to secretaries and shorthand-typist and stenographers.
SECONDARY FUNCTIONS: Administrative secretarial duties and responsibilities which require business knowledge and sound educational background to enable the secretary perform well. They distinguish the secretary from shorthand-typist and stenographers, they are also known as Executive Secretarial Duties.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of this is limitation to Skye Bank Plc., Ibadan Oyo State.
Because of the organizational set-up of Skye Bank Plc. and investigation conducted in it would represent a fair situation of the private sector. The researcher encountered the following:
- There was unwillingness and lack of interest on the part of some of the
Respondents[employees of the company including those shorthand-typist and stenographers]
, which resulted in the loss of some questionnaires.
- Suspicious as to the intents and purpose of the research prevented.
Some of the staff chief executive of the company from giving adequate information, particularly as the company is owned by foreigners. [iii]Time and finance element constitute yet another major obstacle, since the duration for the writing of this project work involved attending lectures and having to travel to Ibadan to distribute and collect questionnaires, and conduct questionnaires, and conduct interviews in the company of study.