Job Dissatisfaction And Its Implication To Career Secretaries In Federal Establishments

Office Technology & Management Project Topics

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The secretarial profession has come a long way; ranging from a stage of insignificance to a stage where and when it has become indispensable in the administration of modern office.  The wadle of this noble profession saw the secretary as a mere “keeper of secrets”.  This description of the secretary depicts more of his function than his person.


The next stage saw the secretary as “A person employed by another person, society or corporation for the purpose of conducting correspondence, keeping records and transacting other businesses”.  He acts as an aid and the closest assistant to the Principal/Boss.  He is the vehicle through which his boss’s or organisation’s actions are conveyed to the public in readable and discernable form.


The secretary had at sometime been regarded as a disposable employee who should be hired and fired at random.  This view manifested in the case of Barnett.   Hoarse and company vs. South London Tranways when the leaned judge, Lord Estier (1887), noted, that “A secretary is a mere servant, his position is that he is to do what he is told and no person can assume that he has any authority to represent anything at all … “.  This position of the secretary remained unchanged as a George Witechurch ltd Vs. Cararagh (1902) and in Reuben vs Great Fougale Consolidated (1906) where Lord Macnaghten upheld the decision of Lord Esher.


The position of the secretary, however, has improved tremendously from what in the past.  The enhanced roles and status of the secretary was give credence in Pamoran Development Ltd vs. Fidelis Funishing Fabrecs Ltd where Lord Denning (1971) ruled that:- “… but times have changed.  A secretary is a much more important person nowadays than she was in 1887.  She is administrative officer of the company.  As regards is matters concerning administration, in my judgement, the secretary has ostensible  authority to sign contracts on behalf of the company.  Furthermore, of a company is hiring cars to meet its foreign customers at the airport, nothing to my mind is more natural than that the company would live those came though its secretary.


The important role of the secretary has been appreciated by even in Nigeria.  Ovie Whisky (1978) said, “the constitutional Drafting Committee owes its greatest debt to members of the secretarial staff without whose hand work, patience and fore beagueen, its work would have made all the move difficult.  The committee wishes to express its profound gratitude to its able secretary and his energetic assistants, … not only for the efficient manner in which they looked after the welfare of the members but also for providing exceptional secretarial services …, in particular for preparation of excellent records of discussions and conclusion”.


The secretary has arrived in the modern industrialized society of today, and so, dissatisfies’ or hygiene factors of Heizberg’s two factor theory have set in some of these ‘dissatisfies’ including company policy, and administration, quality of supervision, relation with supervisor/boss, relation with peers, salary, job security, personal life, working conditions and environment, status etc.


The impact of technical break through have further compounded the problems of the career secretaries in mechanism – the computer, because a sweet – bitter pill for the career security is government establishments.  The computerization of the operations of most government establishments saw the exit of most career secretarial workload in the office at the very time when technology had not provided much for the performance of secretarial functions.  Currently, the job done by may secretarial in the past, are conformably and more efficiently performed by a computers.


The career secretary’s relationship is a sophisticated office environment has shifted to “man – machine” relationship.  You find the secretary all though the day’s work interacting and carasing with machines of all sorts.  A situation where the secretary takes sloth and dictation from the boss in fast phasing out due to technology.  Where dictations are given at all, dictating machines are used – still leaving the secretary to interact with machines.



In spite of the modernization of the office environment, the career secretary is still dissatisfied with his job.  The causes of this job dissatisfaction are many and varied.  They also have far – reaching implications on the performance of their secretaries.


Some of these problems exist within the office environment.  Others have their roots outside the office environment.   Emphasis will however, be placed on these problems, which exists with in the office environment and probably, a little of the ones which exist outside the office.


These problems affect the performance of the secretary and decreases her output.  Sometimes, they lead to conflict between the boss and the secretary, above all, highly qualified secretaries hadly retire on the job and this affects the secretarial profession greatly within government establishment as one cannot rule out the fact that the secretarial profession is in high demand and very relevant to our social and economic development.



The purpose of the study are as follows:-

1.          To identify factors leading is job dissatisfaction among career secretaries.

2.          To find out the implications of job dissatisfaction among career secretaries.

3.          To find out whether work environment contribute to job dissatisfaction among career secretaries.

4.          To make suggestions aimed at eliminating job dissatisfaction among career secretaries.



The research will endeavour to answer the following research questions:-

1.          To what extent is the salary structure for secretaries a major cause of job dissatisfaction?

2.          To what extent is poor work environment the cause of job dissatisfaction for secretaries in federal establishments?

3.          To what extent is the boss/secretary relationship a major cause of job dissatisfaction in NEPA, Enugu?

4.          To what extent does lack of training and inadequate modern office equipment make job performance difficult hence job dissatisfaction among secretaries in federal establishments? 

5.          To what extent does irregular promotion of secretaries cause job dissatisfaction?

6.          To what extent does lack of adequate career guidance result to job dissatisfaction?



This study is significant as it will expose the cause and implications of job dissatisfaction among career secretaries with also equip practicing and would be secretaries with precautionary reasons within their ability to control problems which may likely come up in the discharge of their duties.


For the management of NEPA, Enugu, this study will enable them re-appraise their staff policy with a view to removing job dissatisfaction among secretaries.


Lastly, students in secretarial studies in tertiary institutions may find this project report very useful for further research on the secretarial profession.



This study chose NEPA Enugu as a case study to find out factors leading to job dissatisfaction and its implication among career secretaries in Federal establishments.



Some terms have been used in this project, which require proper definition to aid understanding.  They include:-

Job dissatisfaction:-       Lack of satisfaction in one’s job.

Implications:-  Result enumerating from lack of satisfaction in one’s job.

Salary structure:-   Remuneration/wage structure.

Boss/secretary relationship:-Understanding/co-operation existing between the secretary and the boss.

Promotion rate:-     Frequency in the ride in rank of the secretary to a higher position.

Career counselling:-        Proper and adequate enlightenment or guidance on one’s proposed profession.





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Job Dissatisfaction And Its Implication To Career Secretaries In Federal Establishments