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Impact Of Shorthand On Office Technology And Management Students Communication Skill A Case Study Of FPI OTM Students

Abstract

The study assessed the Perception of Professional Students on Impact of shorthand Skills on The Modern Office Operations in Public Universities in Enugu, Nigeria. The study was guided by 6 objectives, 6 research questions and 6 hypotheses. Survey design was adopted for the study. The population for this study comprised of the entire 203 trained professional students in public universities in Enugu, Nigeria. The Total Population Sample (TPS) of 203 students were used for the study. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire adapted from Sarki (2015), Oguntimehin and Oludele (2017). The instrument was validated by experts and pilot tested and a reliability co-efficient of 0.83 was obtained. The researcher assisted by 5 co-opted research assistants administered the questionnaire using on-the-spot technique. The data to be collected were analyzed using mean and grand mean to answer the research questions while Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses at .05 confidence level of significance. The result revealed among others that Shorthand skill is not relevant on report writing minute-taking of students in modern offices operation. It was concluded that the job opportunities and job performance of professional students will depend on their knowledge, skills and competencies on the operation of the technology gadgets and facilities found in the modern offices. Based on this, it was recommended among others that Modern technology such as (computer, scanning machine, tape recorder, dictating machine) should be integrated into the curriculum of business education programme, this will enable pre- service students to acquire skills needed for office operation before graduation.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of study

Shorthand, sometimes called stenography, is a system of writing by sound; that is photography.  The New Age Encyclopaedia (1977:455) defined shorthand as “an abbreviated system of writing that utilizes symbols or short alphabetic combinations to facilitate rapid recording of the spoken word”.  It is thus the system of using signs and symbols to represent sounds.  This has succeeded in promoting fast writing, labour saving and time-saving phenomena.  As the adage says “time is business”.  Shorthand writing facilities speed and saves a lot of time when taking down spoken words.  It also makes possible a verbation record of spoken words as much the same time as the speaker speaks.  The benefits of shorthand writing have enhanced its general acceptability and popularity in the world of business.

With the growing interest in efficient system of business management, he inventors of shorthand feel it necessary to develop a system that would facilitate speed writing and help to reduce the problem of communication for management.  They made a close study of the phonetic structure of the English language and this formed the basis of the various shorthand system in existence.

Many people are now earning their living through the use of shorthand skill.  They have learned it and use it every day.  The skill would be found in business offices, courtrooms, government offices, at committee meetings – in fact wherever it is desirable to have a record of the spoken word.  As a result, here are many jobs or careers in which the study of shorthand is compulsory or important.  These careers include; confidential students, stenographers, shorthand typists, parliamentary reporters, verbation reporters, court reporters, journalists etc.

Today’s business office is like a bee-hive with so much work, which consists principally of the secretarial and clerical activities associated with handling information.  The information is needed for many decision making and therefore, it (information) needs to reach the ‘right persons’ in the ‘correct form’ at the ‘appropriate time’.  Here is where the role of the professional student comes into play. She is primarily employed to assist the manager/executives in correspondence, literary work, getting information and other confidential matters.  Her duties are categorized into primary and secondary functions.  The primary functions have to do with the basic secretarial skills such as, typewriting, taking dictations, answering telephone, handling mail etc.  The student functions involve knowledge in other areas like correspondence, communication, human relations, committee procedures etc.

The mastery of shorthand as an office skill is ‘sine qua non’ to effective and efficient discharge of secretarial duties.  The competence of a student hinges on her ability to take shorthand notes and transcribe accurately. In fact, a student who cannot take accurate dictations and transcribe correctly is tantamount to a typist.  That is why so much emphasis is laid on the study of shorthand as a ‘core’ course in secretarial study.  It has the highest allocation of credit loads which students must excel into graduate successfully.

That notwithstanding, students continue to fail the course fearfully.  It seems as if the course is a burden to most students.  Inspite of their love for the profession, some students desert the secretarial department to other departments like Mass Communication, Purchasing and Supply, Business Administration and Management etc.  for fear of shorthand.  When asked, they would confess, ‘I can’t cope with shorthand’.  True to their words, most students cannot cope with shorthand, no matter how hard they try to practice and study the course.  They treat the course with disdain and even hate their lecturers calling them ‘enemies of progress’.  It is important to note that shorthand is the only course (as far as I know) a student stand to get zero in, simply because he/she missed some lines during transcription.  For that, students resort to several means to pass the course and not to master the skill.  As a result, a great number of students graduate from the department as bad as they entered as far as shorthand is concerned.  They no longer regard shorthand as the student’s stock-in-trade”.  Most of them believe that they only have to deal with shorthand school and nothing more.

The assertion that shorthand is an indispensable tool to the student is to them but an age-long principle which has lost its credibility because of the advent of technology into business offices.  Most of the students interviewed (which necessitated my writing on this topic) maintained that the secretarial department is merely being old fashioned by giving shorthand a ‘monarch’ position among other course.  They believe that shorthand should give way for such courses as data processing, word processing, office information system, etc. and other courses that are better suited to this jet age.

The researchers being so much interested in this issue, intend to investigate the secretarial profession vis-à-vis business offices in order to determine, whether the student still apply this skill in performing her duties whether the use of modern office equipments have in any way displaced this skill

The result of this research project will go a long way in determining the importance of the skill to the student and its position, in relation to other courses, in the secretarial department.

 

  • Statement of The Problem

In recent times, shorthand writing enjoyed wide acceptability and applicability due to the benefits inherent in I its use. An advantage of shorthand lies in the area of its cost effectiveness. The system also helps in facilitating secrecy in business transaction and for quick recording and processing of information. The need for shorthand writers increased daily with the increase industrial and business activities. It was expected that in so far as business organizations exist; speeches being delivered; that shorthand shall continue to enjoy a pride of place in business offices.

1.3 Research Questions

In line with the specific objectives, the following research questions were raised:

  1. What is the perception of Students on the impact of shorthand skills on report writing in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?
  2. What is the perception of Students on the impact of shorthand skills on minute-taking in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?
  3. What is the perception of students on the impact of shorthand skills on recording instructions in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?
  4. What is the perception of Students on the impact of shorthand skills on taking down telephone calls in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?
  5. What is Ascertain the impact of shorthand skills on mails and information processing function of Students in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?
  6. What is the impact of shorthand skill on Students time management in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria?

 

1.4 Research Hypotheses

In line with the specific objectives, the following research questions were raised:

HO1      There is no significant difference among the mean responses of students’ based on their working experience on the impact of shorthand skills on report writing in modern offices operation in North- Enugu, Nigeria.

HO2      There is no significant difference among the mean responses of students’ based on their working experience on the impact of shorthand skills on minute-taking in modern offices operation in North- Enugu, Nigeria.

HO3      There is no significant difference among the mean responses of students’ based on their working experience on the impact of shorthand skills on recording instructions in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria.

HO4      There is no significant difference among the mean responses of students’ based on their working experience on the impact of shorthand skills on taking down telephone calls in modern offices operation in Enugu, Nigeria.

 

1.5 Scope of the Study

Geographically, the study covers the Universities in the Enugu, Enugu precisely. Contextually, the study focuses shorthand skills and their impact on students’ productivity in modern office.

 

1.6 Significance of the Study

To date, just a handful studies have been published that looks at shorthand skills and students’ productivity modern offices in Nigeria. The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the followings: organizations, institutions, students, lecturers and curriculum planners. The findings of this study will go a long way to correct the misconception and belief of many organizations and institutions that shorthand skills have no influence on the practicing students‟ in modern offices in Nigeria.

This study will be of academic significance to intending students who will become students to take their studies very serious and put shorthand in right perspective.

Lecturers will find it useful because it will bring about the enlightenment and awareness that is needed, as to whether shorthand courses are still relevant or not, thereby making them find a way of updating their knowledge and skills in the most appropriate and relevant technology.

The result of this study will be of immense benefit to curriculum planners and implementers, it will help them in their job of curriculum review and implementation as it concerns shorthand and word-processing in our schools system. The curriculum planners will also come to know the fact as to whether or not there is an existing relationship between shorthand skills and students functions in offices. Finally, it will be of benefit to future researchers who may wish to carryout researches in the related areas.

  • Organization of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one of the thesis discusses the overview of the study, problem definition, research question, research objectives, significance of the study. Chapter two presents all the relevant literature review on waste management and its related concepts.  Chapter three addresses the identification of the most suitable research methodology for this research and chapter four presents a data analysis of findings gathered from the field. Finally, chapter five presents the summary of findings, conclusion, and made relevant recommendations

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