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The Impact Of ICT On The Traditional Office Setting In Ghana, A Case Study Of A District Assembly

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out in order to find the impact of Information and Communication Technologies on traditional office activities. The secretary who is an indispensable member of the office has been affected on one way or the other by the introduction of Information Technology.

Find-out whether modern equipment has come to displace the role of the secretary or to improve the secretary efficiency in the office.

How will information technology reduce the work-load of a secretary.

The research used the whole population of the staff as sample size. The population comprised of 40 staffs in Ghana district assembly.

Instrument used for data collection were the questionnaire and direct observation. The data was collected presented and analyzed by the use of table and percentage technology cash not replace secretaries rather it improves the secretary efficiency in the office.

The researcher thereby recommends that every secretary should endeavour to upgrade their skills and knowledge on modern technologies so as to equip themselves and face challenges of information technology.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Globally, Information technology has become a key element in economic development of many countries in the world. It is increasingly becoming a valuable and powerful tool driving development, supporting growth, promoting innovation, and enhancing competitiveness. Information technology offers opportunities for organizations to improve earlier stages of development. Organizations today are confronted with rapid changing market condition indicated by high merge rate and strong competitors. Under these condition, traditional management approach that focus on financial figures and on centralized, analytical planning methods are considered to be insufficient for effectively steering the organization in dynamic environment (Ahmed, 2008).

The application of information and communication technology concepts, techniques, policies and implementation strategies to modern offices has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all modern offices and indeed a prerequisite for local and global competitiveness. ICT directly affects how managers decide, how they plan and what products and services are offered in district assembly. It has continued to change the way modern offices and their corporate relationships are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative devices available to enhance the speed and quality of service delivery. Harold and Jeff (1995) contend that financial service providers should modify their traditional operating practices to remain viable in the 1990s and the decades that follow. They claim that the most significant short coming in district assembly today is a wide spread failure on the part of senior management on the traditional offices to grasp the importance of technology and incorporate it into their strategic plans accordingly.

Woherem (2000) claimed that only modern offices that overhaul the whole of their payment and delivery systems and apply Information and communication technology to their operations are likely to survive and prosper in the new millennium. He advices modern offices to re-examine their service and delivery systems in order to properly position them within the framework of the dictates of the dynamism of information and communication technology. Agboola (2001) studied the impact of computer automation on the modern offices in Accra and discovered that ICT has tremendously improved the services of some modern offices to their customers in Accra. The study was however restricted to the commercial nerve center of Ghana and concentrated on only six modern offices. He made a comparative analysis between the old and new generation modern offices and discovered variation in the rate of adoption of the automated devices.

Aragba-Akpore (1998) wrote on the application of information technology on the traditional offices and pointed out that IT is becoming the backbone of modern offices’ services regeneration in the world. Ovia (2000) discovered that office in Ghana has increasingly depended on the deployment of Information Technology and that the IT budget for office is by far larger than that of any other industry in Ghana. He contended that On-line system has facilitated Computer in Ghana as evidenced in some of them launching websites. He found also that modern offices now offer customers the flexibility of operating an account in any branch irrespective of which branch the account is opened.

Singh (2002) presented that technology has introduced new ways of delivering modern offices and products to the customers, such as FAX MACHINEs, and computer (IB). Hence modern offices have found themselves at the forefront of technology adoption for the past three decades. These changes and developments in district assembly have impacts on serves quality, employee’s performance, future of Ghana district assembly activities, and consequently its continually competitive ability in the world markets since going along with technology is one of the most important factors of organizations success in general and modern offices in particular. This motivates modern offices to spend more on technology and information to achieve maximum returns and attract large number of clients (Nyangosi, 2009).

The role of information in decision-making cannot be overemphasized; and effective decision-making demands accurate, timely and relevant information. As the numbers of employees, customers and transaction increases in an organization the more it become multifaceted, and the information needed for effective management, planning, decision-making and control invariably becomes more complex. Decision-making is the task of every top management in an organization and they need relevant and timely information to assist in taking decisions. According to Lucey (2005), relevant information increases knowledge, reduces uncertainty and is usable for the intended purpose. However, there are difficulties in producing relevant and timely information, but with the advent of information systems most organizations in Ghana especially the insurance corporations collect data which are raw facts to produce useful and meaningful information which can be used for decision-making which affects the current and future operations of the organization. Although, information does not serve as an alternative for good management but conversely management cannot be good without adequate information.

The role ICT in district assembly became of interest to this study due to the significant role it plays in the economy by stimulating economic growth through the intermediation of funds to economic agents that need them for productive activities. This function is very vital for any economy that intends to experience meaningful growth because it makes arrangements that bring borrowers and lenders of financial resource together and more efficiently too than if they had to relate directly with one another (Adam, 1998; Ojo, 2007).

Hence, Information technology has been acknowledged as the life wire of modern offices in the financial sector as it promotes and facilitates not just the organizational performance but also office setting of modern offices in the country. These therefore call for a pre-requisite need to embrace information technology. It is in view of this that this research work attempts to assess impact of information and communication technology on the traditional office setting in Ghana today with reference to the case of District Assembly.

 

1.2 Statement of the problem

As modern offices came through this many years, organizations have worked to take a competitive advantage by innovating different technologies to gain better office setting and service excellence for customer satisfaction. As a result to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness in district assembly, the information and communication technology is introduced.

The use of Information and communication technology in district assembly in general is for a reason to create easy communication transaction, increase mass satisfaction and to facilitate workflow for secretaries in the organization. It is also important to note that with an increasingly global environment less limited by time or distance, nations around the world need to get connected and join the global networked community. Otherwise, they may fall further behind and the gap they have with the developed world could get wider.

As compared to the practice of different nations the Ghanaian ICT system is lagging far behind than the rest of the world (Ganesh and Venkateshwar, 2014). Nowadays, the existing and new modern offices of the country are implementing the information and communication technology on a limited basis to maximize their performance. But, relevance on different stakeholders is not assessed to measure the importance of this huge investment.

Currently, District Assembly is implementing modern office devices such as fax machine, Computer software, Projectors and other services throughout different offices in the country. This technology is delivered with huge investment under different difficulties. Developing (or Adopting) and implementation of an ICT is a very difficult task to undertake. In general, it has an advantage of improving data storage, file and financial history management. It is also a key to improve customer service, facilitate the work flow and decision making. But, this technology has a high development and implementation cost. It also could minimize the number of employees working in the organization by placing different tasks on one person that could have different effects. Security issues and money laundering are the treats involved with this technology. One of the major challenges related to Information and communication Technology in Ghana is Infrastructure. It is known that week telecom service of the country is affecting the operation of the modern offices causing customer dissatisfaction.

Despite the different aspects of ICT and the researcher’s knowhow, there were different studies conducted in relation to the topic (Ahmed, 2008 and Adeoti, 2005). But there is no such study that tries to assess the general impact of Information and communication technology on the overall office setting by concentrating at District Assembly. The problem associated with the study is to determine the true position of Ghana district assembly system and what it should achieve if it will align with the global Information and Communication Technology. It is also the main concern of this study to assess the positive or negative impact that ICT has created in the traditional office.

 

1.3 Research Questions

  1. How is Information and Communication Technology relevant in the traditional office?
  2. What are the Contributions of using Information and Communication Technology in Ghana district assembly office?
  3. What are the major problems recognized in using ICT in Ghana district assembly office?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

In general, the objective of the research is assessing the impact of Information and communication technology on traditional office.

Specific Objectives:     

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To determine the impact of Information and communication technology on

traditional office.

  1. To explore the contribution using Information and communication Technology in Ghana district assembly.
  2. Identifying major problems in using ICT in Ghana district assembly office.

1.5 Significance of the Study 

The significance of this research work is that it would explore the impact of information technology on the performance in traditional office. It is intended to investigate whether employees’ performance is impacted by the technological innovation (ICT) adopted by the organization. It is hoped that this study would contribute to the promotion of the existing frontier or boundary between ICT and office setting in district assembly.

The knowledge that would be gained from this research work will assist management of modern offices to appreciate the importance and use of information technology to achieve the overall efficiency and effectiveness in operation. It would as well contribute to existing literature by identifying the major barriers to the adoption of this innovation on office operation in Ghana and suggest how to address them. It also is a valuation tool for students, academic institutions, and individuals that want to know more about the information technology relevance on office setting in Ghana.

 

1.6 Scope of the Study 

This study is limited to the impact of Information and communication technology on the operations of district assembly offices and how it affects the performance of Secretaries Specifically, the information in this research work is limited to the activities of District Assembly. Mainly the researcher tried to asses and identifies in general the relationship between the employees of the organization and the relevance caused by the implemented system.

 

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study is conducted in District Assembly, Accra. Some respondents especially employees might feel uneasy to express their opinions genuinely on the subject matter in order to avoid any conflict with the management.

Some of the perceived limitations for this research are level of awareness, willingness, engagement, cooperation and dedication from the different respondents. Moreover, not giving the required full information as well as being unable to respond on time are also the inevitable limitations.

 

1.8 Operational Definition of Key Terms

  • Information: Information is a data that has been processed. It is also referred to data that have a particular meaning within a specific context, or data that have been processed in such a way to be useful to the recipients (Ayatse, 2005).
  • Technology: According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (7th edition) “technology is a specific knowledge used in practical ways in industry”. For example, designing new machines which are made to meet up the demand of current and future situation/trend.
  • Data: Data are facts, events and transactions, observations that describe a particular phenomenon. (Ayatse, 2005).
  • Performance: Performance in this context entails how well or badly an individual/organization does something or how well or badly something works.
  • Bank: A bank is said to be an organization that provides various financial services to individuals like lending or keeping money for people. These modern offices provide security and comfort to customers.
  • Internet: This is an international computer network connecting other networks and computer from companies, universities etc. It is termed as a massive connector of network linking millions of computers.
  • Communication: This is the transfer of information from one point to another either electronically or non-electronically, with the information being understood by the receiver.
  • Traditional officeis likely to feature a more dated décor style, as well as a dated business culture and management style.

 

1.9 Organization of the Research Report  

The report is organized in to five chapters. The first chapter deals with the introductory part of the paper in which background, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and concepts and organization of the paper are incorporated. The second chapter deals with the literature review. Third chapter incorporates type and design of research, participant of the study, the sources of data, the data collection tools or instruments, the procedures of data collection and the methods of data analysis. Findings of the study along with their interpretation and discussion are presented in chapter four. And finally conclusion and recommendation forwarded in the last (fifth) chapter.

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