SECRETARIAL STUDIES

THE EFFECTS OF MODERN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON YESTERDAY’S SECRETARIES

THE EFFECTS OF MODERN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON YESTERDAY’S SECRETARIES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

It is an indisputable fact that there is at present a wide spread of technological revolution in ways and means of rendering office services. For the fact that secretaries are the backbone of business organizations, this revolution seems to have affected them more than any other group. Yesterday’s secretaries are therefore witnessing new changes and challenges in their jobs and responsibilities. These changes have also reflected in the tools of rendering secretarial services and the environment in which the services are rendered.

The office is a nerve center of every organization and its functions have not changed over the years but the responsibility placed on an office and the expectations from it has drastically sky rocketed. The modern office, like the primitive office, collect information, records information, protect the business and safeguards its assets. However, the world we live in is a place were the only thing that is constant is change. Office methods and services are daily going more technological and the volume of materials to be handled are daily increasing.

In addition, the reaction or response time expected of the office worker is now shorter than what it has been in the recent past. There is, therefore, the need for office administrators, which includes the yesterday’s secretary, to cope with the increasing quantity and quality of  services required in today’s modern offices which modern information technological instrument and machinery are handling effectively.

Over the years, there have been some changes in the status and work of secretaries. With this ever-changing role, has come the introduction of modern information technology variously called   automated office, electronic office, mechanized office, paperless office, peopleless office etc. Today, the secretary is expected to combine, in addition to his traditional role of taking dictation, typing, keeping records and appointment, the responsibilities of an office manager. More importantly, he should be versed on the operation and efficient use of such modern information and communication equipment like electronic (memory) typewriters, electronic notebooks, electronic filing system that makes use of disc, word processors, fax machines, microfilm equipment, teleprinters, computer etc. Thus, this sophisticated nature of today’s office is such that an ill-equipped secretary stands the risk of being displaced as the global match as both private and public organizations gather momentum, unless he is retrained. However, at the present, opportunities for high education is gradually widening, as could be witness in some colleges of education, most Polytechnics and some Universities. But these opportunities, do not guarantee that the secretary will be adequately armed and exposed to meet with the demands of the fast growing high technology in the modern business offices.

The effect the introduction of the modern information technology is making on the job of yesterday’s secretaries has attracted the attention of many including the educational planners and the practicing secretaries themselves. The new generation office executives also appreciate the benefits of office technology in the area of documentation, data processing, communication, storage and retrieval system done by secretaries almost effortlessly and with jet speed. Motivated by the ideals, afforded by the use of modern office technology and the gap between what is on the ground in the country an what supposed to obtain and most importantly the effect of this development to yesterday secretaries, an investigation has been considered necessary by the researcher. The researcher therefore intends to explore the effect the modern information technology has done on the job of yesterday’s secretaries in both public and private organizations and to use the findings as basis to discover how an availability of similar equipment in our schools where today’s secretaries are trained. The researcher equally hopes to prove that the computer as part of the modern information technology, in the form of word processor, personal computer, electronic typewriter, telecopies, fax machine, etc, does not displace the secretary’s role but has come to enhance her performance on the jobs and elimination of drudgery. Also the researcher hopes to position the dangers these modern information technology has on yesterday’s secretary who refuses to embrace the demands of this modern age. Finally, to prove how technological advancement have provided the secretary with the necessary tools needed to have all her routine tasks performed automatically. This leaves her free for more creative work which in turn increases individual and collective productivity and promotes the best climate for maximum efficiency.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Due to the complexity of office services, technological devices are becoming indispensable in modern organizations. Hence, office automation is a necessary technology in any set-up or firm. Before the advent of information technological devices, the secretary was considered an indispensable member of the office. We can be that the secretary’s  work is affected in one way or the other by the introduction of these devices. Thus, automated services have come to enhance the secretary’s performance and productivity.

On the other hand, one would ask whether technology would indeed provides solution to the drudgery and monotony of secretarial practice of yesterday’s. will it not make additional demands on the yesterday’s secretary in terms of skill training (in keeping abreast of development) and will not indirectly lead to loss of jobs of some). It is to these questions that this research work intends to address itself. This project will attempt to enumerate the advantages of technological advancement as well as the disadvantages,  with particular reference to the role of the secretary.

1.3    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this is to investigate the effect of modern information technology on yesterday’s secretary. Specifically the study intends to: Find out if yesterday’s secretary can fit into today’s modern office.

1.4   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of modern information technology on yesterday’s secretary. Specially, the study intends to:

1.  To find out if yesterday’s secretary can fit into today’s modern office.

2.  Find out whether modern information technology has replaced manual systems used by yesterday’s secretaries.

3.  To ascertain whether modern information technology has come to displace the role of the secretary.

4.  To investigate how modern information technology reduce the work load of the secretary.

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is hoped that at the end of this study that both present and future secretaries will realize whether modern information technological advancement has come to eradicate their roles or to increase their efficiency and productivity. It will also enlighten the readers that modern technological advancement represents an evolution of ofiice equipment and thus the job security of the secretary need not be jeopardized. In most companies, both private and public, secretaries are being over-loaded with a lot of activities, a situation which leads to over working, just because they lack the knowledge of modern technology. This scientific study will help to enlighten, organization on the need for training their secretaries. On these modern devices for more efficiency and productivity. In addition, the researcher will be afforded the opportunity of getting more versed on the topic. And finally, it will also serve as a source of literature to those who may get interested researching in this or other related areas.

1.5    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research work is expected to cover the secretaries of selected public and private organizations in Enugu metropolis;

–  find out whether modern information technology has replaced manual system used by yesterday’s secretaries.

–  Ascertain whether modern information technology has come to displace the role of the secretary.

–  To investigate how modern information technology have reduced the work load of the secretary.

 1.7      DEFINITION OF TERMS

Technology:  This is the study, mastery and utilization of manufacturing and industrial methods, systematic application of knowledge to practical tasks in industry.

Automation:  It is the implementation of processes by automatic means

Programme:   A programmes a set of actions or instruments that a machine is capable of interpreting and executing.

System:  This is an assembly of computers united by some form of regulated interpretation to form an organized whole.

Input:  Pertaining to a device, process or

channel involved in any input process or to the data or state involved in any input process.

Output: Pertaining to a device, process or channel or to the data or states involves in an output process.

Data:  It is a representation of facts, concepts or

instruction in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by human or technological means.

Wordprocessing: This is a text editing unit design for preparation, storing and dissemination of text initiated on typewriter – like devices.

Manual:  Things done with hands.

Computer:  A computer is an electronic device, which is capable of doing things at high speed, of making certain decision, storing and analyzing data.