IMPACTS OF MODERN OFFICE TECHNOLOGY ON SECRETARIAL PROFESSION IN GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the Impacts of modern office technology on secretarial profession in government parastatals. The functions and effectiveness of the secretary in every organization depends on the availability of office technologies as well as the skills and competencies of the secretary profession. Modern organizations have come to appreciate the role and importance of the secretary as well as the need to providing the needed and necessary office machines and equipment for the efficacy of the secretarial profession functions. To accomplish the research objectives, the study adopted the survey research design, while the convenience sampling technique was used to select (50) respondents as sample size for the study. Instrumentation of the study was self-developed questionnaire and the forms were personally administered by the researcher. Hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and data were analyzed using the chi-square (c) and descriptive statistical tool. The findings revealed that the secretary likely to be more efficient and productive with the use of modern office machines, technology act as stimulant to the secretary and modern office machines act as aids that can assist the secretary in her. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made by the researcher: Secretaries should be flexible and adapt to changes as they come and keep abreast of innovations in the office machines, organization, attitude and responsibilities, Secretaries are encouraged to tackle challenges through assignment of new responsibilities, Secretaries are enjoined to be members of professional organizations, Secretaries are encouraged to attend workshops, seminars and conferences which may be self-sponsored or organization-sponsored and the organizations should furnish the secretary’s office with necessary equipment to enhance their effectiveness e.g. computers, printers, photocopy machine, scanner.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The 20th Century has witnessed a lot of advances both in science and in technology. This technological advancement has been moving at break-net speed since the end of the Second World War, in manufacturing, aviation, medicine, research, engineering, finance, transportation, utilities etc. These advances have permeated and affected adversely all aspect of life. Information technology has been modified and even replaced our traditional method of communication. There are other technological transformation on the way we live, play and relax in our homes. However, this technological advancement has ushered in drastic changes in all walks of life, secretarial profession is no exception. The basic abilities required for secretarial work with continue to change as sophisticated equipment are introduced into the offices of government parastatals. The impact brought about by invention of new office equipment cannot be over emphasized. Most of these offices equipment out-perform secretaries due to their speed, and as well saving of time. The introduction of such machines might cost secretaries their jobs or result to the reduction of the number being employed. It envisaged that as technology advances and new products and processes replace old ones, craft and skills would definitely disappear. Consequently, there would be a problem of extra cost of training and retraining, to get them acquainted with these new inventions. This motivates the researcher into investigating and ascertaining how true these statements are, with respect of technology and its effect on secretarial profession. Her findings will also enable her make meaningful suggestions as to know how to face challenges posed by this technological advancement in this technological era. By the mid 20th Century, humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the atmosphere of the earth for the first time and explore space. According to Merriam Webster (2007) technology is making usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. The word technology comes from Greek, the term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: example include construction technology and information technology. 1.2 Statement of Problem The world is undergoing technological transformation now that we are at the threshold of the 21st century. There are new inventions that are changing the way we move from place to place, others that are changing, our traditional methods of communication and even others that are changing, the way we live, look, eat, sleep and relax in our homes. More importantly is changing the face of the offices of today and this process is likely to accelerate as we enter the 21st century. The secretary as one of those who work in offices is not left out in the impact made by technological transformation of offices. What are the effect of these changes on the person of the secretary, her traditional functions in the office, her ability to cope, her job security, her relevance to the office work for which she is employed and more so to meet the challenges of her ever-changing work environment. This research, using NEPA-Enugu, is aimed at fining answers to these questions. It is believed that at the end, the researcher may make recommendations that will help the secretary adjust and re-adjust as her work environment is restructured by technological change.

1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY

This study is aimed at finding out roles and responsibilities of secretaries and their vitality, to discuss about the newly introduced office equipment and its impact on secretarial profession, to recommend solutions to these secretaries who think their services are no longer necessary and felt threatened on their profession due to innovations.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is didactic, in that it enlightens the public and secretaries who think, that they cannot be useful again due to the introduction of this new office equipment. This ought to done in order to boost their morals and increase their productivity as well. This study will go along way to encourage practicing secretaries and secretaries in training not to fear about the future prospect of their profession. This research study is beneficial to higher Institutions and teachers as well, in that it would induce them to install some of these newly introduced office equipment, as to enable the students practice before their graduation and not just teaching them theoretically. This study will also be of help to subsequent researchers that may be interested in doing more work in this area of study with a view of recommending how to tackle these challenges brought about by modern technology.

1.6 DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is very wide if it has to be carried out in all the modern offices in government parastatal. The study is limited, based on the fact that there is no time and material resources to see the secretaries in the whole government parastatal. The findings may not reflect the situation in the whole secretaries in government parastatal, but by and large, what happens to secretaries in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic can be said to apply to other secretaries in the other institutions.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The following are the limitation of the research work: Inadequate materials in the polytechnic library hindered the smooth running of the research. Inadequate time to meet up with research work couple with other academic activities limited the research work.

IMPACTS OF MODERN OFFICE TECHNOLOGY ON SECRETARIAL PROFESSION IN GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS