SECRETARY AS THE IMAGE – MAKER OF A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
This study investigated the role of the secretary in the image making of a business organization with particular reference to Nigeria Breweries Plc Onitsha and our Lady’s Industries Nkpor-Agu Anambra State. In pursuance of this objective, the researcher presented and administered questionnaires to the secretaries of the above named organizations. The theoretical frame work of the study was provided by review of related and relevant literature. Both questionnaires and library books were used in data collections. Data collected through the questionnaire were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages. Form the data collected through questionnaire administered to the secretaries, the researcher found out the following: Firstly, most secretaries at the above named organizations possess the standard speed of 100wpm in shorthand and that means that they are first class secretaries, while most of then also have the speed of 50 and 60wpm in typewriting. Secondly, the secretaries confirmed that a better conclusive office will enhance their performance, that they should be provided with conducive offices, which will enhance their performance and promote the image of the company. Thirdly, most secretaries in the above named organization agreed that the possession of personal and business attributes is very important to a secretary in the discharging of her responsibilities and functions. It was also found out that the secretary is really the image maker of the organization, a living dairy for his / her boss and as such it cannot be as over statement to say that the efficiency of a an organization is judged through the performance of the secretary. Finally, recommendations were made.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Secretary-ship is an important hub around which modern office and management revolves. Like the heart which is involved in the manufacturing, pumping and distribution of blood to various organs of the body, secretary-ship provides the bridge the body, secretary-ship provides the bridge which links the functions of different arm of an organization, creates a whole out of disjointed branches of activity. The history of the secretarial profession could be terraced back to the industrial revolutions of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries which gave birth to record keeping and the invention of the art of manuscripts. When it because imperative that these two innovations could not provide a complete answer to smoother take-off of business and full office operations, further inventions were made and these were the art of typing and printing, with the resultant training of the first batch of officers in the allied trades.
Because of the free use of the word “secretary” by all and semidry, only a few people have taken time to analyzed the important and concept of this essential vocation. In modern terms, secretary has become an omnibus terminology associated with a wide range of practitioners who have varying framework of correspondence and record keeping. For instance, no reasonable employer can go to the employment agency or put up an advert in the press today merely stating secretary wanted, unless he specifies the type and peculiar qualification or breed, the result is most likely to be negative. This confirms the age-long omission of appropriate nomenclature for many classes of paper workers now conglomerated under the tag secretary.
This background now leaves us with the question. Who is a secretary? Secretary-ship is a career, a vocation that has by its wide application and tendency accommodate many breeds of seemingly related but differing groups of correspondence workers almost lost its original identity. It has gradually assumed the posture of a No man’s line. Form the professional term secretary-ship come the technical name secretary meaning, the practitioner or operator of the secretarial careers. Secretary is not an accidental appellation given merely to satisfy philological need. It is a technical expression denoting job relativity and pointing to job motive.
The word secretary is derived from the latin word secretaries menacing “a person entrusted with secretes. According to Advanced English Learners Dictionary, secret means (to be) kept form knowledge or view of others, to conceal. The same Dictionary defined “secretary” as an employee in the office who deals with correspondence, keeps records, make arrangement and appointments for a particular member of the staff. If the secretary by derivation means “the keeper of secretes” (wide secret is a fitting synonym for confidentiality) and the functions borders on handling of correspondence and keeping of records, it follows therefore that while other classes or species of record keepers and correspondence handlers may borrow the title “secretary” for appropriate descriptive nomenclature. The fit and proper class entitled to the appellation “secretary”, is that class which by training, education and grooming in the art of record keeping, is secret or confidentiality-oriented. It is that species which in actual work situation is more seen than heard. In other words, secretary refers most appropriately to that class of correspondence or records worker whom by training and orientation assumes the posture of a repository of confidence.
Interestingly, the traditional maltreatment and belief of people have deteriorated with time. This is because training for the profession is not only emphasized but sophisticated methods and materials, modern techniques and facilities have been introduced and obviously this has evidently facilities the turn out of good and qualified secretaries. A secretary is much more important nowadays than in the past. She is an administrative officer of the company. As regards matters concerning administration the secretary has ostensible authorities to sign contracts on behalf of the company. The secretary within the capacity of the office portrays a positive image of the employees in the organization. It is also observed that the secretary, in the course of her daily business, associate with those above her level and those on her level.
In his book “the effective secretary” Onasanya stated that a secretary should be able to dine with kings and mix with the commons. Migini (1982), while apprising the dynamic and tasking position of a secretary in the office posited that the secretarial work is a career indeed. In the business world and in the professional field, the not bother him with petty problems that she can solve with little thoughts or research. These are the basic ingredients to find out the whether the secretary is really the image-maker of a business organization.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It has been observed that despite all the duties performed by the secretary, business organization and individuals have continued to under-rate the secretaries and do not the organization. They see the profession as one for unintelligent people their right positions. They believe that anybody who uses the typewriter and takes dictations is a secretary, hence secretaries are paid very poorly. This study is aimed at investigating whether the secretary is really the image maker of a business organization. It will under take to examine the roles of a secretary to see if these are enough to describe her s the image maker of an organization. In solving this problem, the researcher would investigate the following areas:
1) Her ability to compose and initiate correspondence
2) How she answers telephone calls and receives visitors
3) Whether a good image of the company is portrayed through his / her activities
4) Whether the environment where he /she work is conducive enough for the performance of his / her duties
5) Whether the secretary possess these attributes: punctuality, neatness, Tactfulness, confidentiality, courtesy, Royalty, politeness, orderliness, reliability, Honesty etc.
6) Whether these attributes help him / her to carry out his / her function efficiently and effectively
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The researcher effort on the project is geared towards the accomplishment of the following goals:
1) To find out who a secretary is
2) To find out whether the secretaries in the Nigerian Breweries Plc Onitsha and the secretaries at our Lady’s Industries Nkpor-Agu are doing their work effectively and efficiently.
3) To find out whether secretaries are really the image-makers in a business organization; using NB Plc Onitsha and sour case study Lay’s Industries as a case study
4) To find out whether these secretaries have peculiar attributes in the discharge of their duties.
5) To find out whether the secretaries are provided with expected materials and conducive offices in the discharge of their duties
6) And finally to suggest possible solution to any perceived shortcoming.
Secretary is an essential link in the diversified daily activities of the organization. The pivot on which organizational activities rotate, the contract between the organization and the outside world. The smooth and efficient running of the organization depend solely upon the secretary’s ability and she has more to do with the practical running of the organization then any other officer does. To those who regard on office clerk or typist to be the qualified secretary, the national secretaries association of the united states of America, defined a secretary “as an Executive assistant, who possesses a mastery of office skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who makes decision within the scope of an assigned authority.
The secretary is a public relations experts, a staff assistant, the boss’s office memory. She must be able to carry out her duties without supervision and direction. She represented the company and her employer and generates good human relationship in working with all employee in the organization. She is almost the one who posses desirable qualities that promotes her professional competence, accuracy, highly efficient, great and sound in judging when to use her initiative and when to consult her employer about handling a job. She adjusts to the changing roles and situations, she can recognize and meet a deadline. She informs her employer about developments that may effect office efficiency but she does.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1) The Nigerian Breweries Plc Onitsha and our Lady’s Industries Nkpor-Agu Anambra State will benefit from this study as they will learn of the important roles their secretaries play to their image making.
2) The secretaries will as well realize their importance to the image making of the organization and will be prepared to do their job better.
3) The study will be beneficial to students of secretarial studies and other researchers as the study will add to the pool of knowledge in the field of secretarial profession.
4) Similarly, the study will be very handy for different business organization that over took the secretary under their employment took the secretary under their employment as the image-maker of the organization and then devise means of making effective utilization of their services.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to the secretaries that work in the Nigeria Breweries Plc Onitsha and our Lady’s Industries Ltd Nkpor-Agu Anambra State.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In other to achieve a more purposeful and significant result form this study, the researcher though it necessary to ask the following questions.
1) Do secretaries require special training?
2) To what extent does secretary create an image for a firm?
3) What are the duties of a secretary?
4) Are secretaries’ office conducive for the performance of their duties?
5) To what extent do the secretaries’ attribute help them in discharging the duties creditably?
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