THE EFFECTIVE SECRETARY: HER ROLES AND CHALLENGES IN THE MODERN ORGANIZATION
This project examined the effective secretary: Her roles and challenges in the modern organisation. It analyses the duties of secretaries: the handling of males, (machines operation) computer, fax machines, copier. It talks extensively about the roles or function carried out by the modern day secretary, and the challenges and problems which they encounter in the modern organisation. This project also examines the functions of the secretary in relation to her duties in today’s modern office: it analysed the roles of secretaries in the absence of her boss, organising meeting, booking appointments and record keeping and keeping imp rest system. It recommends that there was need for effective training for potential secretaries, in order to enable them cope with the roles and challenges ahead of them in the modern organisation. It aims are helping executives at all levels to develop the secretarial function within their own organisation, departments, section or offices, so as it integrate the secretarial staff into the team, be it administrative, managerial, production or any other special field.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The secretary formed an important part of the unique roles of an organization because he or she is part of the management. The secretaries are usually called names like. Next in command of the boss’ “memory aid”, Protector of the boss”, Company’s image makers” etc. This indicated the importance of secretaries in Management, and the roles they play and the challenges they face in the organization. The Effective Secretary’s roles and responsibilities also mingle with that of her boss, and could affect him adversely if there is no adequate effort to ensure correspondence. Therefore, communication between secretary and the boss has to be properly coordinated to ensure Effectiveness of the secretary’s output. The rapidity of the growth of business organization and its documentations, couples with the dependable roles of a secretary, which makes this research timely and imperative. Basically, the efficiency of any organization depends on the effectiveness and effective contributions of the secretary. Also the tremendous changes in our society today, presents a continuous challenge for any secretary; therefore any secretary who wants to meet up with these advancements has to be prepared, and to prepare means to undergo on the job trainings, attend seminars courses and workshop where they will be properly briefed and taught. The word “Secretary” ultimately came from the same Latin word that gave us “secret.” Originally, it means “one entrusted with the secrets and confidences of a superior.” In English it was secetarie and in middle Latin it was secretaries. The word “secretary,” in something close to its present meaning, has been with us for at least 500 years. In France, from the 13th to the 16thcentury, the word “secretaire” meant a confident. It also became an administrative term meaning “someone who transcribes or arranges for another.” Probably the earliest use of the word was in relation to those people who acted for a king. A king would have his trusted agents handle correspondence on private or secret matters, particularly matters of state.
Just when secretaries originated no one knows exactly. The role arose out of the natural need for a prominent person to whom confidential matters could be entrusted and who could act as an assistant for a principal. It is known that secretaries exited in Rome prior to the establishment of the empire. They were usually educated men who took dictation as “scribes,” and oftentimes acted as trusted advisors. Before the invention of parchment and reed pens, tools of the trade for scribes ranged from chisels used upon stone to styluses used on clay, wood, or wax tablets. Shorthand became part of the preparation and training of secretaries (and emperors as well, including Julius Caesar and Augustus). In early modern times, members of the nobility had secretaries, who functioned quite similarly to those of the present day. They were always men; most has command of several languages, including Latin, and were required to have what we would consider today as a broad generalized education. Men continued to dominate the secretarial field until the late 1880s. With the invention of the writing machine, many women entered the office workforce in various clerical roles. Many women held, or aspired to hold, positions as secretaries. They attended secretarial schools and worked to attain superior skills. The demand for secretaries was so great that in outpaced the supply.
In the 1930s, the number of men with the title secretary dwindled. Women dominated the office workforce. Some were promoted form steno pools, some were graduates of business colleges or secretarial schools, but all were seeking the professional status and pay previously enjoyed by their male counterparts. Recognition continued as America’s heartland became the nucleus of an organization that would help to professionalize the occupation. In 1942, the National Secretaries Association (NSA) was formed (now know as the International Association of Administrative Professionals). NSA first administrated the Certified Professional Secretaries Examination, a standard of excellence for the profession, in 1951. Today, secretaries (also known as administrative assistants, office coordinators, executive assistants, office managers, et al} are using computers, the internet, and other advanced office technologies to perform vital “information management” functions in the modern office. Just when secretaries originated no one knows exactly. Secretaries no longer “simply” type correspondence for “the boss.” Now, they often write that correspondence as well as plan meetings, organize data using spreadsheet and database management software, interact with clients, vendors, and the general public, supervise the office and other staff, handle purchasing, ands even train other workers.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the face of the vast expansion of the globe, we see that an Effective Secretary was faced with the problems and challenges of meeting up with the vast changes that are taki8ng place in the modern organization. For example, the introduction of modern equipments like Fax machines, copiers, computers, internet etc pose great challenges to the secretary, and there is threat that these technological changes are gradually taking over the duties of the secretary. Training at the implant level, external and professional courses, workshops, seminars etc, should be incorporated to meet the expectations of the world of secretarial practice. There is the need to change if we want people to recognize us as professional secretaries. We have to learn much and act accordingly to retain, build our profession and be useful to both private and public business organizations.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to highlight the roles, duties as well as the challenges facing the secretary in the modern day organization. The study also aimed to help executives at all levels to develop the secretarial function within their own organization and find out how the influx of these new office machines has helped secretaries in the execution and accomplishment of their duties, and also to see its technology has a positive or negative effect secretarial profession.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research would examine the roles and challenges of the Effective secretary in the Modern Organization: revealed the trend in secretarial technology, and how it affects the secretary, whether it makes her more efficient and its relevant to the secretary’s job.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In an attempt to carry out this research, it was pertinent to find out the roles played as well as challenges faced by secretaries in the modern organizations. It was therefore, necessary to delve into the followings.
1. Who is an Effective Secretary?
2. What are the roles performed and the challenges faced by the Secretary?
3. Is the secretary Indispensable in an Organizational set up?
4. Has the introduction of modern office equipment any effect on the modern Effective Secretary?
5. Can technology take over the duties of a secretary?
The following hypothesis has been developed for the study:
HO1: That having the knowledge of the use of this recent office equipment is a necessity for the Modern Secretary.
HO2: That not having the knowledge or knowing how to use or operate this modern Office equipments not pose a trait on the Modern secretary.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Since this research would did will be carried out within a very short time, the scope of the research was bound to be limited in methodology coverage. However, the use of questionnaire and oral interview will be adopted.
The scope of this research was to examine the roles and challenges of secretaries in the modern day organization. Due to shortage of time and financial constraints, this project would only be limited to the facts and figures collected from various students (40) and some of the secretaries in and out of the department.
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