This study was intended to examine the role secretaries tool for enhancing the quality of service rendered by government establishment in Ebonyi State Ministries. This study was guided by the following objectives; to examine the factors militating against the effective performance of the secretaries’ function in any organization, to examine the extent to which facilities needed by the secretaries in the organization are adequate and to ascertain the role played by government in uplifting the state of secretaries in government organizations. The study employed the descriptive and explanatory design; questionnaires in addition to library research were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data sources were used and data was analyzed using the chi square statistical tool at 5% level of significance which was presented in frequency tables and percentage. The respondents under the study were 100 civil servants in public offices in Ebonyi state ministries. The study findings revealed that majority of the respondents were of the opinion that secretaries are the pivot of the efficiency of public offices and that a good secretary aids effective running of public offices; based on the findings from the study, it was recommended that there should be consistent monitoring and evaluation of the supply chain performance indicators.
1.1 Background of the Study
Generally, the office no doubt makes an important contribution to economic and social life of any nation or society. Hence any complex industrial society would rapidly come to a standstill if the office is not there. This efficient organization must provide its management with efficient and sufficient information, planning control and financial services. Little Mill Standing ford and Appleby (1986) remarked that administration is that part of the management process concerned with the institution and carrying out of procedures by which the programme is held down and communicated the progress of activities is regulated and checked against target and plans.
Essentially the purpose of the office is to provide services of communication and records. This can be amplified under five headings as follows receiving information recording information giving information arranging information and safeguarding of asset. Office can make only these vital contributions if there is both efficient office services by general management and department manager. (That is the production manager, the marketing manager the secretary and others).
Today the office is becoming such a complex place and more demanding that the executive finds it difficult to cope with the task. In other words she needs someone that would help her accomplish her tasks hence the need for a secretary. On the whole, a secretary today is part and parcel of the executive and so is very indispensable. He/She is the person who assists the executive by displaying an export skill (imitative tact judgment and others) in performing her office function without close supervision by the executive. Thus she should possess the ability to relieve the executive of designated administrative detail when the need arises.
The role of a secretary in office administration to a large extent depends on the type of office she work in the post occupied by the boss and her qualification (s). The secretary deals with the boss, staff, visitors and all paper works.
A secretary is an assistant to an executive possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercise judgment and takes decision within the scope to her authority. The Webster Dictionary of English (2005) however, defined a Secretary as one trusted with secret of or confidence of a superior, adviser, confident or one employed to handle correspondence and manage routine and detailed work for a superior. This depicts that a secretary is a skilled personnel who possess both executive and personal attributes in managing the affairs of any organization effectively and efficiently in order to achieve organizational objective. From this description, Onasanya (1990) defines a Secretary as someone who possess adequate knowledge of administration or organization and the ability to achieve results through hard work and management of resources or people on behalf of his/her boss. Its classification depends basically on experience and their functions are diverse and this depends largely on the field of specification. The cadre of secretaries tends to determine and at the same time modify the function of such secretary.
Secretaries as organization members and agent through whom organizations achieve their objectives are very complex in nature. Basely and Robinson (1964) states that the work of the secretary varies according to the kind of products or service being rendered by the firm in which he is employed, the size of the organisation, the position of the secretary’s employer in the organization, and his employer’s manner or method of wok.
One of the problems of secretaries is the hierarchical structure of the profession. A secretary is ranked according to her level of education or grade. In the working system in the Nigerian economy, there are many problems and difficulties encountered by all classes of workers and which in olden days were called stenographers, typist etc. are now designated Secretarial Assistants I, II, III and IV.
Problems ranging from the environment, public relations, accommodations, transport, the boss, salary and state governments are at presents raced with the problem of running result through efficient combination of resources at their disposal. These resources are man, machines, materials and money of these, man is regarded as the most important because he controls all other resources.
Duniya (2011) also 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.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Secretaries play multiple roles in any organization. They are the life wire of establishment. By virtue of their position and the performance of their job, there exists some imminent problem. Such problems are likely to influence the role of secretaries. Problems such as lack of respect and recognition to secretaries from employers of labour who look down on secretarial administration and regarded those who practice it as never-do-wells, inadequate modern equipment used by secretaries hinders their efficiency and effectiveness of their jobs. Secretaries are not apportioned to use or manipulate the required equipment necessary for their profession thereby making them not fit for their profession. Secretaries are always regarded as a professional servant to the executive. Some bosses use their secretaries as scope goat and dehumanize them before their visitors because such bosses see the secretaries as supporting staff who he believed cannot stand on their own.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to know the role secretaries tool for enhancing the quality of service rendered by government establishment in Ebonyi State Ministries. Specifically, the study sought to;
1. examine the factors militating against the effective performance of the secretaries’ function in any organization.
2. examine the extent to which facilities needed by the secretaries in the organization are adequate.
3. ascertain the role played by government in uplifting the state of secretaries in government organizations.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the factors militating against the effective performance of the secretaries function in any organization?
2. To what extent is the facilities needed by the secretaries in the organization adequate?
3. What is the role played by government in uplifting the state of secretaries in government organizations?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: There are no factors militating against the effective performance of the secretaries’ function in any organization.
Ho2: There are no adequate facilities needed by the secretaries in the organization.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Thus the result of this study would be of great importance for effective discharge of secretarial functions in all the public offices in Ebonyi State Ministries. At least all the secretaries would be recognized hence their roles.
This study would equally be of immense benefit to those students who wish to take secretarial administration as a profession.
It is hoped that the result of this study will educate the general public as to who a secretary is and the importance attached to the profession. Equally it will educate the secretaries in understanding more about themselves, their roles, prospects, constraints and chosen profession.
Finally, this study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study is on the role secretaries tool for enhancing the quality of service rendered by government establishment using Ebonyi State Ministries as a case study.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Secretary: A person employed by an individual or in an office to assist with correspondence, make appointments, and carry out administrative tasks.
Administration: Administration is the range of activities connected with organizing and supervising the way that an organization or institution functions.
Public Office: A position of authority or service involving responsibility to the public, especially within the government.
Ministry: A ministry is a governmental organization that is meant to manage a specific sector of public administration.
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