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Abstract on Importance Of A Secretary To The Development Of An Institution

This study is importance of a secretary to the development of an institution. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected higher institutions. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up secretaries, senior lecturers junior lecturers and graduate assistants were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

Table of Contents on Importance Of A Secretary To The Development Of An Institution



1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research Hypotheses

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope and limitation of the study

1.7       Definition of terms

1.8       Organization of the study




3.0        Research methodology

3.1    sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis



4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation


Chapter One of Importance Of A Secretary To The Development Of An Institution


  • Background of the study

The secretarial has to come a long way. The profession can be trace back to the scribes of antiquity. The roman gave a name to the holder of the job secretaries as “keeper of secret”. Large scale manufacturing of the first practical type-writer about a hundred years ago and the tragedy of the two words wars brought women into the secretarial profession.  In the sixteenth century, in Great Britain, the secretary first operated as a typist. This was as a result of low organization activities or business transaction dealing and the functional purpose for which they are required.  Nevertheless, secretarial profession has provided its importance in the day-to-day running of government parastatal and private business activities through the role it plays in managing the daily business institutional communication of any institution.  Most executive heads of institutions of departments are reliving themselves of the head of work on them by delegating such work to their secretaries. Due to the great dependence ratio of these executive heads on their secretaries, the duties of the secretary have become numerous. The relevance of the profession is felt because secretaries are working tools needed to succeed in all ramifications. The complicity involved in the daily activities of the recent times has made the profession to leave the level of ordinary typist to a more challenging level and secretary with institution’s knowledge are required.  Since the aim of any institution is to train students to the maximum level, it makes the secretarial profession more important because, one of the distinct function of profession more relevance because, one of the distinct functions of profession is to build a better image for the institution. A responsibility if discharged well, goes a long way to place the institution’s image for in-coming students. Every profession has certain concepts associated with it. The same is true for secretarial services. Nwosu (1998) traced the word “secretary” to the Latin word secretarius meaning a person entrusted with secrets. In the business circle, the term has three broad connotations. Primarily, it is applied to a person: (a) that is employed to prepare, preserve and transmit all forms of information as well as render stenographic services. (b) One who serves in certain legal, administrative or accounting capacities as a secretary to a company or a statutory body; and someone in-charge of a Local, State or Federal Government department? In tertiary institutions, secretaries, in addition to the roles enumerated above, attend to administrators, lecturers, students, other members of staff, and visitors. These categories of persons attended to by secretaries are referred to, in this research, as customers in a general sense. Customers are those who receive the tertiary institutions’ services from secretaries. For the present study the term “secretary” refers to any person who possesses a mastery of stenography, word-processing, and computer operations skills. In tertiary institutions, this means specifically that the secretary must cover those aspects of service like attending to the needs of customers and is expected to perform to standards that are precise and measurable so that customers can judge by themselves whether or not their expectations are being met. Egboka (2009) described the secretarial profession as the life wire of every organisation. Secretarial service delivery is an approach which puts pressure on secretaries’ sense of responsibility and commitment in creating and attending to the needs of customers (South African Government, 1997). This pressure makes secretaries put customers first and enables them to account for the services they render. Secretarial service delivery demands that secretaries must find new ways to deliver their services and it must surpass expectations of customers. Secretaries of tertiary institutions must address the converging challenges of customers’ sophistication, globalization, competition, and technological innovations while still taking advantage of the market opportunities as they arise (Draper, 2004). Secretarial customer service involves all the activities which secretaries perform to satisfy customers. In a special way, the service looks at the speed and dependability with which secretaries in tertiary institutions meet and/or exceed customer expectations in their service delivery. It means doing everything possible to satisfy the customer. What makes the job of the secretaries difficult is that they serve two masters, namely, the school customers and their employers (Management Development and Productivity Institute, Accra – Ghana, 2009). Secretarial service delivery became too cumbersome that the Nigerian government had to introduce a social contract between the Federal Government of Nigeria and her people (SERVICOM) to assess services in all Federal Universities and Polytechnics. This is in line with the desire to ascertain the level of service delivery in all Federal Government agencies (SERVICOM, 2004) to enable such agencies to refocus on improving key areas of service where service deliveries are not satisfactory. As part of the process for commencement of the exercise, the office continuously gathers service charters from the Federal Universities among them, is “Customer’s Charter”. Customer’s charter is a written, voluntary declaration by service providers that highlight the standards of service delivery that they must subscribe to, the availability of choice for consumers, avenues for grievance redress and other related information (Economic Regulation Authority Perth, Western Australia 2006).


Secretaries in the Nigerian public service, of which tertiary institutions is among, tend to fall short of the expectations of customers in the provision of services. Successive administrations in Nigeria have instituted various administrative reviews and reforms to re-invigorate the public service. Some of these administrative reviews and reforms predate Nigeria’s independence. From the Tudor Davis Commission of 1945 till date, the initiatives range from installing more appropriate structures and conditions of service to issues of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the service and, lately ensuring service delivery improvement. William and Tiffany (2007) assert that tertiary institutions world-wide face a growing gap between the level of services expected by customers and what customers believe they actually receive. There is also a growing concern that in large and complex organisations such as tertiary institutions, the problem of secretaries’ inefficiency seems to delay the rate of operations and procedures.


The objectives of the study are;

  1. To determine the extent to which secretaries in tertiary institutions in Nigeria apply interpersonal skills in their service delivery
  2. To ascertain the importance of a secretary to development of an institution
  3. To determine differences in the extent secretaries apply interpersonal and resource skills based on the ownership (Federal, State and privately owned) of their institutions
  4. Determine differences in the extent secretaries apply interpersonal and resource skills based on their type (universities, polytechnics and colleges of education) of institutions


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0:   there is no extent to which secretaries in tertiary institutions in Nigeria apply interpersonal skills in their service delivery

H1: there is extent to which secretaries in tertiary institutions in Nigeria apply interpersonal skills in their service delivery

H02: there are no differences in the extent secretaries apply interpersonal and resource skills based on the ownership (Federal, State and privately owned) of their institutions

H2there are differences in the extent secretaries apply interpersonal and resource skills based on the ownership (Federal, State and privately owned) of their institutions


The findings of the study are considered vital in the present reforms for best practices in Nigeria. The outcome of the study should be beneficial to secretaries of tertiary institutions in identifying their needs for professional development in service delivery in line with the SERVICOM principles as that will enhance institutions reputation and increase profits. The findings should sensitize secretaries on Government Reform process and its implications for their institutions. It will also provide an insight into the extent to which secretarial roles and responsibilities may have changed due to the changes in technology. The findings of this study, if implemented, will help in curricular development of business education programs, plans and organization of in-service training for secretaries in their areas of need


The scope of the study covers importance of a secretary to the development of an institution. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


SECRETARY: In other situations a secretary is an officer of a society or organization who deals with correspondence, admits new members, and organizes official meetings and events.

DEVELOPMENT: An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.

INSTITUTION: Institutions are “stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior”. As structures or mechanisms of social order, they govern the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


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