1.1 Background of the Study
Information technology (ICT) is generally regarded as the fourth industrial revolution in the world (Asakpa, 2003). Indeed ICT has become the gateway to the modern information skills and orientation (ISO) which distinguish the world order. ICT in secretarial field can be understood as the application of digital gadget to all aspects of secretarial duties. Within the context of secretarial profession, ICT is described as the combination of technology for collecting, storing, processing, file management, diary keeping, communicating and delivering of information relating to secretarial processes (Oladimeji 2003). The spread and efficiency of ICT is critical to the achievement of secretarial goal (Obanya 2002). ICT involves the application of all aspect of the use of computer, micro electronic devices, satellite and communication technology.
The national policy on ICT (2001), describe ICT as any equipment that is used in the acquisition, storage, manipulation management, control, display, switching and transmission of information. In other dimension, ICT is conceptualized as communication in whatever forms used, assessed, relayed and transmitted to communicate, send and receive information. Application and utilization of these devices converts information, text, messages, sound and motion to digital form. In an office situation, ICT influences the secretarial behavior of the secretaries through training and retraining. It is an integral component of secretarial duties. Since the role of a secretary involves managerial and clerical function.
The potential of ICT as an effective tool to promote efficiency and meet present day secretarial challenges in the organization is not in doubt. The federal government of Nigeria approved a national ICT policy in March 2001 and implementation started in April of that same year. With the establishment of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), charged with the implementation of the policy, the federal government recognized that private service providers have enormous capacity for ICT services. Accordingly government setup the Nigeria National ICT for development of ICT4D, strategic action plan committee to develop a new road map for the nation.
ICT has positively affected the secretarial profession in all ramification such that no nation can escape this transforming movement driven forward by the engines of the internet and the modern day invention like the computer, fax machines, GSM and so on. This implies that secretaries for the survival of their profession now have to put their very destines in ICT. Recent findings, have shown that the introduction and application of ICT into the secretarial profession improved the performance of the secretaries in every organization. Recent studies have shown also that the application of ICT makes the secretary work less and accurately (Ogunsiji and Aregbe 2010). Lasisi (2005) is also of the view that ICT has upgraded the function of a secretary and has removed the boredomness of using a typewriter. The cyber revolution has started to redefine secretarial profession, creating new self-Image, creativities and innovation, and an ever-expanding technological framework. However, the new challenges of ICT and the excitement they are causing do not seems to permeate the entire society.
In early modern time, numbers of nobles have secretaries who functioned quite similarly to those of the present day. They are men who had good command of several languages including Latin, and were required to have what we could consider today as a broad generalized education. Following the renaissance, men continued to dominate clerical and secretarial roles until late 1880’s when the new writing machine was invented that welcomed the entering of women into the profession.
In 1942, the National Secretaries Association (NSA) was formed (now known as the International Association of Administrative professional). NSA first administered the certificate of professional secretaries examination in 1951. The history of secretarial profession in Nigeria can be traced back to the arrival of the missionaries and the colonial masters. Information technology have restricted the role of the secretary through the elimination of monotonous aspect of paper holding and filling. As a result, the secretary would likely have more time for work that involve human behavioural aspect. There is no doubt about the fact that ICT has contributed greatly to the secretarial profession. The coverage of this research work is to examine the effect of information technology on the performance of secretaries in the office.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Deficiency of the typewriter and the duties of the secretary in the office has affected the organizational framework directly and indirectly, which slows the efficiency of the front office. There has been a lot of research efforts in other to recommend or find a lasting solution to the challenges of the secretaries in the office but their are still lapes. This study examines the effect of information technology on the performance of secretaries in the office.
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