Complete Material Cost #3,000
This study is aimed at examining the technological challenges faced by secretaries in modern business organization. The factors investigated among others includes regular updating of skills in the use of technological gadgets, lack of constant power supply, and health problems like repetitive strain injury. This is informed by the rapid introduction of modern information technological devices in organizations which the secretaries has to cope with in the discharge of his/her duties in the modern business organization. The design of the study adopted was the survey method with a sample of 70 questionnaires distributed to respondents of which only 62 copies were retrieved. Four research questions were raised and answered. The results showed that technological devices pose challenges to secretaries including regular updating of skills in the use of technological gadgets, lack of constant power supply, and health problems like repetitive strain injury. The researcher concludes that in order to keep abreast with the dynamism of office technology, the secretary has to be alert to these changes and update her skills. Based on this conclusion, it was recommended among others that Secretaries should update their skills by reading professional journals, attend seminars, conferences, organized by their professional associates. You should take a break in the middle of your work so as to minimize backache, and that business organizations should organize regular training for secretaries on new equipment.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Technology could be defined as the systematic study of techniques for making and doing things. By the early 20th century, the terms embraced a growing range of means, processes and ideas in addition to tools and machines. By the second half of the century, technology was defined by such phrases as the means or activity by which man seeks to change or manipulate his environment.
Technology has been around as long as the human race. When we think of modern technology, we often think of computers, complex machines, and space shuttles. However, people had to find ways of solving problems and meeting needs—in other words, develop technology—way back in history, Back in the Stone Age (beginning around two million years ago) people were using technology when they made tools out of natural materials like stone, wood, and bone.
Technology is all around us. It is a part of our daily lives. Technology is the way people use resources to meet their wants and needs. For example, people have invented beds to meet their need for comfortable sleep. They have invented refrigerators and stoves to meet their needs for storing and cooking fool. They have invented cars, buses, trains, and planes to meet their need to move from one place to another.
Technology is enhanced by the variety of machines found in today’s office. The telephone system involves more than traditional person-to-person communication. It now includes teledata transmission from computer to computer and sending of facsimile copy from station to station. The telephone companies also provide their customers with many optional services.
For decades now, fast changes have been taking place in all facets of human life including the office environment. This is as a result of technological advancement. Every office in today’s business world, be it government, industry or other human endeavours, require facts and accurate information for quick decision-making. The office worker, including the secretary, expects certain support from the organization into which he/she is employed. This support can be technological (machines and equipment) and human. In offices of past, manager’s dictated memos and letters and secretaries typed them. Most recently, business have developed word processing centers and relied on personal computers and even electronic mail in an effort to lessen the need for secretarial support and make the employee-secretary very productive (Ezoem, 1995; Osuala, 2004).
A secretary is an office-staff who combines the mastery of secretarial skills of typewriting and shorthand with office routine functions. Automation is an innovation and a consequence of the industrial revolution. It is a collection of methods for controlling machinery and production processes by mechanical method, usually with electronic equipment. Spencer (1981) defined automation as the process of replacing human work with work done by machines or system designed to perform a specific combination of action automatically or repeatedly.
As a result of changes in technology, the role of secretaries in business has changed tremendously from that of typewriting and shorthand dictation, answering of telephone calls and processing of mails. Today’s secretaries are exposed to office technology including the internet that make work much easier and knowledge more accessible (Edwin, 2008). It is now easier to send messages by telex, electronic mails (e-mails), fax and telephones. Other office gadgets available to the secretary are photo-copy machines, duplicating machines, dictating machines, printers, among others. This is the era of computers and information technology which has become an enabler of greater convenience. The most popular types of computer software programme are word processing, which help the user to write and edit memos, letters and reports, data management programmes or databases, which help the user-secretary to use long lists of data and spreadsheet programmes, which handle tables and numbers (Dulek and Fielden, 1999). Secretaries now have many technologically advanced office gadgets to ease their jobs and enhance proficiency and productivity leading to improved access to goods and services globally (Akpomi, 2003; Anyakoha, 2002; Wofersohn, 2001).
There are wide range of office machines and equipment which now enable secretaries to improve their performances. Such new machines take the form of electronic typewriters that have replaced the manual ones. Word processors with milt-purpose facilities, computers and other sophisticated office machines and equipment are now provided by employers. Some of the physical equipment used by secretaries includes computer communication equipment and electronic pocket organizers (Lucas, 1997). New technological equipment that has altered the procedures and technique for office functions include the computers, electronic mail/ commerce, voice mail, and the Internet.
The success of the newly introduced equipment depends on people, procedure and equipment (PPE). Automation can only be successful if a careful study is carried out to assure the need of the equipment and the financial resources available for the purpose. It is important to note however, that technology is not static, therefore it is essential that while planning to equip the office with modern technology, great care should be taken of the changing nature of technology. As such finance should not be invested into technology that is likely to become obsolete in a short time.
It is believed that for a new equipment to be installed in any organization, it has to win the good will of the staff, since they are the ones to use it. By getting the good will of the user staff, the introduction and procedures will be accepted and effective.
Typewriters are constantly being improved and now include such features as correction keys, dual pitch capabilities (both elite and pica) changeable elements with different type of styles, memory features and variable horizontal and vertical spacing. Some memory typewriters type materials on the text line, which increases production speed. Other memory typewriters have visual displays for editing and proofreading before hard copy is actually typed.
In just a few years the computer has become a vital tool in maintaining records, compiling reports and storing information when much of the work in a company depends on the computer, data processing specialist must be involved in developing their systems. Management determines what data is needed and the format in which it is wanted and interprets the computerized results. The secretary is involved in preparing data for the computer.
Electronic word processing is an effort to increase efficiency in communication. Word processing centers use a system approach (a combination of automatic typewriters and centralized dictation machines) to enable the office manager transcribe ideas into written form.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem so associated with this research project is projected as seen in the rapid and advance introduction of modern information technological devices in connection with the modern office manager in the modern day organization and the society. Modern devices vary in degree, they are used by organizations in the world of information which are very useful and also produce precise information, speed, reliability and accuracy of desired results.
There are several problems facing technologies in the modern business organizations, the problems include; power supply, high cost of connectivity, lack of basic education, high cost of equipment, etc.
If this is so, the ultimate question is “are modern secretaries actually up to the task? The problem of how he can effectively make use of these technologies to produce what is required in terms of its operation, the problem of how he could apply these technologies to identify the organization’s problems and what needs are required by the organization at the actual time, place and condition. So much is really expected of the Secretary.
Cameron (1982), a very long time ago, commented that it takes up to 10 to 15 years between the introduction of new equipment in the market and its installation in small organizations. In modern times, it is not uncommon to find some organizations still subjecting secretaries to the use of manual typewriters. When secretaries are not provided with efficient and effective working tools, productivity is definitely bound to be low.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is as follows;
- To find out the types of gadgets involved in modern day technology
- To know the benefits of office technology to the secretary and modern business organization.
- To examine the technological challenges faced by secretaries in the modern business organizations.
- To x-ray the solutions to the challenges faced by secretaries in the modern business organizations.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is that it would alert secretaries to the technological challenges of the 21st century. By doing, secretaries are prepared on how to face theses problems. Organizations will also benefit in that they will know how to protect their workers in the face of these challenges.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research study will attempt to find answer to the following questions;
RQ1: What are the gadgets involved in modern day technology?
RQ2: What are the benefits of office technology to the secretary and modern business organization?
RQ3: What are the technological challenges faced by secretaries in the modern business organization?
RQ4: What are the possible solutions to the challenges faced by secretaries in the modern business organizations.
1.6 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This project is limited to selected organizations in Port Harcourt which include Total SLF Nigeria Plc, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Access Bank Plc.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited by financial constraints resulting from the economic recession. Also time to search for useful material has thus limits this study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are defined for the purpose of the study:
Modern business organization This is the bringing together of resources, manpower, knowledge, skill and technology for the courses of producing goods and services for human consumption with the aim of profit making.
Innovation: Problems encountered in course of doing something.
The art of making changes or introducing new things.
Appliance or mechanical devices with parts working together to apply power.
Automation: Has to do with the use of machines. The machine appears of itself to make its own decision without guidance from the brain of a man.
Complete Material Cost #3,000