A Comprehensive Review Of He Factors That Improve The Advancement Of Secretaries In Business Organizations

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It has been observed that the secretarial profession is becoming less popular in recent times. Various schools of thought have trend to offer explanations to this ugly trend. Some attributed it to the nature of this profession, others through that it has to do with the executive who is always bossing the secretary.

This course work is therefore aimed at finding out the factors responsible for the advancement of secretaries in business organizations.

 The researcher made use of questionnaires administrations in collecting the necessary data. Frequencies and percentages were used. For the analysis of the data collected. 

From the result obtained, the following deductions were made.

·                    Skill acquisition and work competence help the secretary to advance in the job.

·                    Good relationship with both colleagues and management can also ensure her advancement on the job.

·                    Frequent training and seminars also help the secretary to advance.

Based on the findings, the following recommendations to enhance the advancement of secretaries in business organizations where made: 

Secretaries should improve their skills through training

·                    Secretaries should improve their skills through training.

·                    Organizations should provide opportunities for staff development.

·                    Opportunities for interpersonal relationship should be created to enable workers learn from one another



Title page                                                                        i

Approval page                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                      iii

Acknowledgement                                                           iv

Abstract                                                                          vi

Table of contents                                                            viiii



1.0     Introduction                                                          1

1.1             Background of the study                                        1

1.2             Statement of problems                                           4

1.3             Objectives of the study                                          6

1.4             Scope of the study                                                          7

1.5             Research questions                                                7

1.6             Significance of the study                                        8


2.0     Review of related literature                                     10

2.1             The secretary and her role                                      10

2.2             Advancement of a secretarial work                         17

2.3             The image of a secretary                                        25

2.4             Summary of related literature                                  28


Chapter Three

3.0     Research design and methodology                         29

3.1             Introduction                                                          29

3.2             Research design                                                    31

3.3             Area of study                                                        31

3.4             Population of the study                                          32

3.5             Sample size                                                           34

3.6             Validly of instrument                                              34

3.7             Reliability of instrument                                          35

3.8             Distribution of instrument                                       35

3.9             Method of collecting data                                       35

3.10        Method of data analysis                                         36


Chapter four

4.0     Presentation and analysis of data                            37

4.1             Introduction                                                          37

4.2             Analysis of data                                                     37

4.3             Findings                                                                55


Chapter five

5.0             Summary of findings, recommendation,                 

and conclusion                                                      59     

5.1             Summary of findings                                              59

5.2             Implications of the study                                        60

5.3             Recommendations                                                           61

5.4             Conclusions                                                          62     

References                                                            64

Appendix: sample of research questionnaire            67






Most writers on secretarial duties, secretarial management and office organization have carefully avoided the duties, levels and positions of professional secretaries except for the volume of letter, memo etc. type or minutes and pages of report prepared by them.

Clearly stated, the rules and levels or positions of secretaries are aimed at establishing ideas but it is in an attempt to discover and lay down those rules and lends, which should be followed that we discover some factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in organizations. Some of these duties were not enforced, but a branch of them normally provoke public condemnation and effect their growth. With the unfolding circumstances. The profession is fact acquiring a distinction as one of the most versatile essential services of modern economic communities. Nonetheless, the profession is becoming challenging and too many people perhaps enroll into the ranks as a future prospect. With more technological and industrial development, the secretary shall fully realize his potentials in the country. (Utomi; 1990).

As defined by National Secretaries’ Association (International), a secretary is an executive assistant who possesses a mastery of office skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibly without direct supervision, who exercise initiative and judgment and who takes decision within the scope of assigned authority. With the above definition we can see that the present day secretary is a potential officer. A secretary is indispensable to management and it is true that a good secretary can make an average manager very effective and also a bad secretary can make an able executive very ineffective. (Odenigbo; 1990).

 Lack of job description for secretaries has led to the misappropriation of skills unequal distribution of work, low morals, and bored (Appt; 1979). He stressed thereafter, that each secretarial position should be analyzed and task requirements of the job identified for better job description.

Job description of secretarial staff should contain a statement bout what a secretary does on the job and what she knows and should include also other classes of things that are done on the job such as preparation of a venue for meeting provision of refreshments, seeing to the cleanliness of the office which do not actually relate to the basic skills (Mayes and Beach, 1967).

Experience has shown that inspite of all that a secretary does to promote the image of the organization little or even the very boss whom she serves accords her no recognition. Lack of recognition and undefined job role have contributed to the poor self-image of a secretary in the Nigerian society. It is common that anyone who can type is referred to as a secretary by many, despite his not possessing the skills required of a secretary. This misconception of who a secretary is and what she does had led to non-challenging job experiences, law payment and lack of respect by the executive for whom she works. As a result, secretary are either underused or overused by organization without creating any room for their advancement. A situation whereby the advancement and promotion of secretaries depend solely upon her boss does not encourage personal initiative.

It is therefore necessary to look into those factors that effect the advancement of secretaries in our business organizations



The position of the secretary in any organization is very distinct. She is very essential and an image-maker of the organization. She is the mirror of her organization while some describe her as the life wire of the organization. Hence it because doubtful if any chief executive can discharge his duties properly without the assistance of a secretary.

Apart from being an administrative assistance the secretary perform such other functions such as clerical and receptionist duties and in some cases does some accounting jobs, which are not quite in line with her job description. The work of the secretary cuts across every aspect of the organization’s activity. As a result of being and all purpose staff, the secretary has been described by some schools of thought as an “unclassified” office personnel who is neither here nor there.

In the actual sense, a worker should be assessed based on his / her job description such assessment gives room for promotion and recognition.

Unfortunately, the secretary is not assessed based on the duties in corporate in her job description to recondite what she is doing with what she is supposed to do. The discrepancy between job description and the actual job done by the secretary does not given room for proper assessment thereby making promotion and advancement to be hindered.

This work therefore is aimed at discussing the various factors, which affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations, and seeing how such factors can be elimination.

Such factors to be discussed includes:

·                    Structure of the profession

·                    Work competences of secretaries

·                    Relationship with management

·                    Relationship with other workers

·                    Lack of protection from formal organization.






The objective of this study is to discuss the factors that affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in some selected private organizations in Enugu Urban.

This will be done by determining:

·                    Whether the structure of the profession in Nigerian is always such that secretaries are subordinate to higher authorities and executives.

·                    Whether work competencies of a secretary affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in Enugu State.

·                    Whether the working relationship between management and secretaries affect the advancement of secretaries in business organization in Enugu State.

·                    Whether the failure of formal organization in Nigeria to protect and project the secretarial profession affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations.

·                    Whether the working relationship between the secretaries and other workers affect the advancement of secretaries in business organizations in Enugu State.



1.4            SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research work covers only two business organizations namely; National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Emenite Limited Enugu due to limited time and scare resources.



·                    What are the factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in a business organization? 

·                    Does the structure of the profession as always subordinate to a higher authority and executives improve the advancement of secretaries? 

·                    To what extent does the relationship with co-workers improve the advancement of secretaries in business organizations?

·                    To what extent does the relationship between secreareis and management improve the advancement of secretaries in business organization in Enugu State?



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A Comprehensive Review Of He Factors That Improve The Advancement Of Secretaries In Business Organizations