INVESTIGATION INTO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SKILLS REQUIRED OF A SECRETARY FOR EFFECTIVE JOB PERFORMANCE
The research focuses on investigating the information technology skills required of a secretary for effective job performance in Imo State civil service system. In order for effective job performance of secretaries this is research was carried out to investigate the required skills needed.
Secretaries/office technology managers in today’s office/business cannot achieve a reasonable percentage of organizational objectives without adequate knowledge, experience and skills with which to operate and manipulate the ICT machines and devices that will ensure accuracy, efficiency, standardization and increasing productivity of secretaries. In the light of this, this research also examined the following concepts: information, communication, technology, information and
Communication technology, the challenges of ICT and office technology secretaries and their applications. The Conclusion made in this research is that the Imo State government should organize an intensive and professional training for secretaries on the use of information communication technology equipment. The government should also make provision of these equipment. And recommendations were made that for office technology and secretaries to perform credibly and achieve the organizational objectives they must acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and required experiences that will enable them to handle efficiently and effectively various ICT machines, equipment and devices in the performance of secretarial and office functions.
1.1 BACKGROUND STUDY
On the early days the secretarial profession was limited to typing, writing and transcribing of shorthand only. But today, it is far beyond this, it involved functions as sorting and retrieving of information passing on information and so on with the help of manual electronic equipment. A secretary assistance to an executive, possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibilities without direct supervision who display initiative, exercises judgment and makes decision within the scope of his/her authority. The secretary also handles more office jobs, makes and takes decision on behalf of his/her organization. But because of the aforementioned about information communication technology, there are controversies about the future of the secretary in information communication technology.
The term information communication technology was first widely employed in 1981 to describe the equipment and system, which were being introduced in both private and public sectors, to create, store and distribute information since, then, the term has abbreviated to (I.C.T.).
The key feature of modern technology is its ability to deal with information in one form or the other. Trend has been towards using ways of interconnecting the various types of equipments so as to integrate their functions and manage them effectively. Underpinning the definition of “ICT” lies on the modern which provides a helpful explanation of the way in which computers process information.
Information communication technology as the broadly based technology needed to support information systems, which many people today refers to as computer equipment, which aids to increase profit margin and enhance planning, and organization by the use of very fast, accurate and flexible devices in the business society. Efficiency in offices many people believe, is a vital factor in the well being of an organization as it can affect productivity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The work of a professional secretary is quite beyond just receiving calls and arranging files manually. This is so because the work of a professional secretary encompasses that of a computer operator. Secretaries responsibilities include various administrative and clerical duties needed to run a company efficiently and smoothly.
Some duties include serving as an office information manager, arranging and scheduling meetings or appointments and preserving paper and computer files, managing projects, handling travel arrangements and distributing information through the use of telephones, mails, e-mails. So the need of secretaries with skills in information technology is very importance and this bring about the research.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The objective of this study is investigation into information skills required of a secretary for effective job performance in Imo State civil service system. The specific objectives are:
i. To examine the changing roles of the secretary in the ICT era.
ii. To investigate the relevance of information technology skills in the job performance of a secretary.
iii. To highlight the challenges posed by the emerge of ICT to a secretary.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Who is a secretary in the information communication technology era?
2. What are the positive and negative effect information communication technology has on the roles of a secretary.
3. What are the problems and the prospects of a secretary in the information communication technology era?
4. What threats does information communication technology pose to the secretary in an organization in this era?
5. What effect has information communication technology on the secretarial profession?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study has risen from the researcher’s realization of the importance of information technology skills in order to enhance effective job performance by secretaries in Imo State civil service system i.e the researcher also realized the prospects of a secretary in the information communication technology. This research work will be valuable assets to government policy makers on privatization and contributing to the successful up-lifting of secretaries in information communication technology.