This study was carried out to examine the impact of automation on the performance of secretaries using West African Examination Council (WAEC) Enugu State as case study. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of secretaries and administrative staff in West African Examination Council (WAEC) Enugu State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 35 respondents and all were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, while the hypothesis were tested using Chi-square statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that; the use of automated office equipment aids secretaries to effectively manage their job role in the organization. The study also revealed that office automation increases the productivity of secretaries in the organization. The findings further show that the use of automated equipment influences secretaries in-job effectiveness and efficiency. Therefore it is recommended that the organization should organize in-service training for the secretaries to teach them newly automated machines. Institutions of higher learning should also train the would-be secretaries, practically-oriented courses using the modern office technologies. Also, employers of labour should engage secretaries that are vast with ICT competencies and skills in order to achieve administrative effectiveness in the organisation.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Automation can be defined as automation or mechanical devices that can replace the use of human or manual labour, which used to be very tedious Okagbar, (2005). According to the advance learners Dictionary which defines automation as the use of machines to do work which was previously done by people (human) hence office automation, which is also known as (Modern office technology) has now taken charge of all facts of human endeavors . Office automation has been seen to have helped tremendously in the carrying out of work load in various offices with case. Thus, the use of the generally known computer and other electronic office equipment has made possible the processing, filing, storage and retrieval of documents in the organization at faster rates and in a more efficient way. Before the advent of automation, the office system was manually intensive. This system was so cumbersome which made the work more complicated and less productive, However, the system has fast given way to automation in business office. Examples of these machines are computers, electric typewriter, shredding machines, folding machines collating machines, dictating machines etc. In modern day organization, there has been an introduction of various automated machines into the daily functioning of such business in order to meet up with the fast growing complexity of modern business of today. Advent of automation, the office system was manually intensive.
This system was so cumbersome which made the work more complicated and less productive. However, the system has fast given way to automation in business offices. There is revolution going on in the office. The revolution is about development in technology of the use of office machines. It involves new technology, new ways of handling and using this equipment.
Without doubt the major change in the office scene over the past few decades is the introduction of information technology.
Automation can be defined as an automatic or mechanical device that can replace the use of human or manual labour which used to be very tedious. Okagbare 2005.
Hornsby, S.A defines automation as the use of machine to do work was previously done by people (human) hence office automation, which is also known as (modern office technology) has now taken charge of all facts of human endeavors. Examples of these machines are computers, electric typewriter, shredding machine, folding machine, collating machine, dictating machine etc. Office automation has been seen to have helped tremendously in the carrying out of work load in various offices with case. Thus, the use of the generally known computer and other electronic office equipment has mad possible the processing filling, storage and the retrieval of documents in organization at faster rates and in a more efficient way. Automation has also come as an aid to facilitated the efficiency of secretaries. In their job leading to the expanding nature of office work. Automation ahs helped to save time and making the work more interesting and challenging to the secretary.
However, despite the fact that automation aided office work, most people still have counter view about its implementation or advent that office automation is typically accompanied with upset and the establishment of automated machines devices in office might displace workers of their jobs hence the need to some organization.
The question asked is does automation actually displacing workers of their jobs hence the need for automation is still an unwelcome idea to some organization.
The question asked is does automation actually displace people of their job? Or ha it crated job opportunities in business organization? Therefore its against this backdrop that this research work is geared to investigate.
1.2 Statement Of The Problems
Many psychologist and management practitioner believe that performance is a function of both motivation and ability. This means that before one can successfully perform a task, one must both be motivated to perform that task and have he skill, know ledge, and experience to do so either factor does not exist at optional level, performance must decline. Since the advent of technology, there has not been greater need for efficiency and effective in business as it is today with the introduction of automation in all office operational process.
However, despite the fact that automation aided office work, most people, still have counter view about its implementation or advent, that office automation is typically accompanied with upset and the establishment of automated machines, devices in office might displace workers of the jobs hence the need for automation is still unwelcome idea to some organization. Its stated goals in the daily functioning of business, there is need to automate processes, the availability of these machine call for trained hand to use them. They also require consumables, which are expensive and score to come by in time of maintenance etc.
- To get the right type of engineers responsible for the machine maintenance tend to pose unstable.
- Power supply is another constraint withholding the use of the achieve, inadequate power supply can cause serious damages and breakdown to these machines.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The aim of this study is to find out how automation has improved or retarded the work of the secretary in the office specifically, the study attempted to:
- Determine if the use of automation equipment aid secretaries to effectively manage their job role in the organization.
- Ascertain if office automation increases the productivity of secretaries in the organization.
- Ascertain if the use of automated equipment influences secretaries in-job effectiveness and efficiency.
- Identify the challenges that impedes the adoption and use of automated office equipment in an organization
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The statements below will be validated in the course of this study
H01: The use of automated office equipment does not aid secretaries to effectively manage their job role in the organization.
H02: Office automation does not increase the productivity of secretaries in the organization.
H03: The use of automated equipment does not influence secretaries in-job effectiveness and efficiency.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The necessary sue of office automation is a problem in most organization both the private and public sectors. No organization should go into automating its office. Just for the sake of it, but must have a grounded understanding of its implication and benefit therein. The essence of the study will provide more vital information or quick to organization in making such decision. The need for establishments to understand the working process in the office, especially the work of the secretary who is responsible for most of the paper work presently done in most organizations is very vital and cannot be over emphasized.
Over the years, organizations which have reliable and timely information or planning and directing is organization affairs, thereby needs automation. Consequently the study will be of great use to practicing secretaries as it will enable the determine the relevance of office automation in handling their work/duties. Management of organization would also benefit greatly from his study as their knowledge of the usefulness of office automation would make them purchase the required equipments that enhanced he work of the secretaries and thus make them ultimately improve their functions towards the proper achievement of organization objectives.
- 6 Scope Of The Study
This project is limited to office automation, as it affects the performance of secretaries in organization with equal focus on the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Enugu.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
The major limitation of this study was the lack of readiness of the respondent to freely and willingly answer the questions posed on them by the researcher, and the researcher was highly engrossed with academic wok during the period of this study. These, therefore, result to a longtime for the completion of the study.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
The following terms used in presenting report of this study are explained below:-
OFFICE:- Office is used in this work as a place where business activities are carried out. It can also be a room or building where clerical processes or duties are carried out.
MODERN:- Any thing of present or recent but Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says that modern is up to data, methods and ideas of doing things.
AUTOMATION:- Automation is used in this work as automatic equipment to do works which are previously done by man manually.
SECRETARY – popular definitions of secretary are “An office worker who combines the competencies of stenographer, clerical officer, receptionist and more, talents and attitude” (Anyachuba, 1991) An assistant to an Executive possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercises judgment and makes decision within the scope of her authority. (The international Association of Administration Professionals USA). Consequently, a secretary is said to be one who exercise initiative and take decision within the scope of her assigned authority.
PRODUCTIVITY – Oxford mini-reference Dictionary explained productivity used in this work as bringing forth in large quantity; nothing more powerful promotes the efficiency of labour that an abundance of productivity.
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