THE EFFECTIVE SECRETARY: HER ROLES AND CHALLENGES IN THE MODERN ORGANIZATION

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ABSTRACT

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.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION

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.

THE EFFECTIVE SECRETARY: HER ROLES AND CHALLENGES IN THE MODERN ORGANIZATION