COMPUTER USABILITY AND IMPACT IN OFFICE MANAGEMENT AMONG SECRETARIES IN RIVERS STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
By the mid 20th Century, humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the atmosphere of the earth for the first time and explore space. According to Merriam-Webster (2007) technology is making usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. The word technology comes from Greek, the term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: example include construction technology and information technology.
Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology h as helped develop more advanced economies (including today’s global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes product unwanted by-products: known as pollution and deplete natural resources, the determinants of the earth and its environment. Various implementations of technologies influences the value of a society and news technology often rises new ethical questions examples include the rise of efficiency interm of human productivity, a term originally approved to machines and the challenge of traditional norms.
According to Franklin Ursula (1952) Traditionally, new technology has been concerned with the construction of machines, structures, and tools on a relatively large scale. The development of materials for building bridges or sky scrapers is an example of this, as is the development of the internal construction engine and the nuclear reactor. While such activities involve all the sciences, from chemistry to nuclear physics, the overding goal has been the same to improve the human condition by finding better ways to deal with the macroscopic world.
Jaulius Adama’s (1999) in his views says: Since world War II, the focus of technological activities has undergone a major change while the old activities are still pursued, they have largely superseded by applications of technology at the microscopic level instead of building large-scale structures and machines modern-day technology tends to concentrate on finding improved ways to transfer information and to develop new materials by studying the way atoms come together. The silicon clip and micro electronics typing the new technological trend, as does the blossoming of genetic engineering. The trend can be expected to continue into the fore seeable future.
With the changing world of technology this day, it is important to say that computer technology has come to stay, and it plays significant role in the improvement of the secretary’s job which in turns enhances productivity in all aspect.
However Eric Schalzbery (2004) in his views says that with the high rate of technological development in this “global village” era, the secretary has come to terms with the reality of having her job greatly enriched and complete business activities going on in modern office. The secretary plays important role in ensuring the proper utilization of these machines for greater productivity.
In the past, most office work had been carried out manually although them the volume of office work had been small and there was less sophistication in the industrial art, hence there was no significant demand for computer technology. But today, when one looks at the basic tasks. In an office, whether it be writing, calculating, filling, sorting or analysis, it is found that office machines cam be used to dot he job better and faster which leads to great achievements and professionalism in the field. There has never been grater need for efficiency in business than there is today. All kinds of businesses. Must employ modern methods in their offices. The raw material of an office is information, and the responsibility of an office is lit that of a clearing house, receiving and sending out information, processing storing facts in various forms. Therefore, the ever increasing size of business organizations has increased the development of new techniques in office management. Unlike in the past, where the secretary made use of old model manual typewriter that does not enhance efficient. Since the secretary is a medium through which the organization actions and policies are conveyed to the public. In readable and disenable form, it is wise that she is exposed to office machines and understand their proper usage so that she can efficiently carryout the routine job of the office. By so doing the organization concern can benefit highly form the services of the secretary.
The secretary is part of the management team since she is completely involved in the affairs of the office and in making and implementation of business plans. She deals with letter drafting and typing, filing processing and storing of information as well as disseminating information. With the office automation such as electronic typewriter Word process, computer, telephone, fax machine, internet, e-mail, photocopier and calculating machines at her disposal, her job is sure to progress swiftly and a boost to attaining productivity in the organization where she works.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Even though computer technology is regarded as important and of high value in ensuring quality work output in an office, as well as bringing about productivity. It is equally believed that these machines can cause job. Displacement. This is the fear that many employees suffer from when new machines are being purchased for use by their organization. The machines are cost effective. Some organizations do not really apply the use of some of the modern machines and this lead to poor performance, this is because they seem not to attach great importance to these machines and most secretaries are ignorant of their uses.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study intend to achieve the following:
a. To examine the concept of computer technology and its effect on the secretary’s profession.
b. To examine whether computer technology causes job displacement of secretaries in organizations.
c. To determine whether the secretaries utilize the office machines for productivity in every aspect.
d. To determine whether the modern machines enhances the secretary’s efficiency.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the topic, the effect of computer technology on the secretarial profession in government parastatals, this study has drawn up the following research questions:
a. What effect do computer technology have on the secretary’s job in an organization.?
b. How has these modern machines caused job displacement of secretaries in organization’s today?
c. How well do secretaries utilize the office machines for productivity in their places of work?
d. Does modern machine enhance the secretary’s efficiency, performance and productivity.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study covers all aspect relating to the effect of computer technology on secretarial profession such as the concept of computer technology, functions of modern office, secretarial function in government parastals, types of modern technologies used by secretaries in their profession, effect of computer technology on secretary performance.
This also talks on how this variables can be put together to enhance productivity in all aspect most significantly in secretarial profession.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research believes that this study will be of immense benefit to the following categories of people.
a. Secretaries: This study will be useful to practicing secretaries. It will help broaden their knowledge about modern machines because they are the people who actually make most use of these machines in the offices, it will help motivate them in wanting to make use of the modern machines.
b. Employers of labour: This study will enable employers of labour to have more knowledge about the modern machines and will give them a focus in acquiring these machines for use by their secretaries for grater productivity in their business activities..
c. Future Researchers: This study will serve as a guide to the future researchers who will need to study and expand on the same topic. It will serve as data or source of information.
d. Employees: This study will enable the employees to make use of the modern machines to communicate smoothly. Two people can chat via a computer when they are both connected. It brings secretaries all over the world into contact with each other.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Modern machines: These refers to the usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organizing in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function.
Productivity: This is the ability to produce things of economic value. The art of being fruitful.
Manually: Work done with high degree of human labour
Efficiency: The ability to perform duties well to produce the desired or satisfactory result.
Sophistication: Having to do things with latest improvement and refinements e.g modern machines.
Implementation: To carry out a plan into action.
Displacement: To put a person out of his usual position and be replaced by a machine.
Policies: Plan of action made by business company to meet aims and objectives.
Secretary: An individual employed to keep the records of the meetings of an organizations and to write or answer letters on this behalf.
Professional secretary: A person employed to be in charge of the clerical, organizational and administrative functions of the organization
Government: A political authority who have the power to make and enforce laws for a country or area.
Government Parastatals: A group of people established to perform a function usually associated with a government and under its direct control.
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