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This project is aimed at finding out strategies for improving records management skill of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri and the purpose was to determine the record management skills required of secretaries, procedures and strategies in handling records, equipment/ memory aids for records management skill, system secretaries use to arrange records and other records management a well as how well secretaries ensure appropriate management in selected business organization in Owerri. The population was for the study was thirty (30) it consists of secretaries and executives from five business organization located in Owerri municipal council in Owerri, Imo state; and the sample used was the whole population which includes fifteen (15) secretaries and 15 executive from different business organization in Owerri municipal council in Owerri, Imo state. T he research question of the study were five (5) which consisted of what record management skills are required of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri, what procedures do secretaries use improve records management skill in selected business organization in Owerri, How well the secretaries used system do secretaries used equipment/machine connect to records management, what system do secretaries used arrange records in selected business organization in Owerri and how well the secretaries ensure appropriate record management in selected business organization. The instrument for collection of data for this study was questionnaire and means score is 3.0 and above which are considered significant while any item that is less than 3.0 should be regard insignificant. Therefore, secretaries are expected to know the strategies for improving records management skills in selected business organization in Owerri.
1.1 Background of the Study
Every business organization relies on effective records for its activities to succeed. The major activities of the organization are record handling and secretaries are to play a very important role in handling records. All information and activities carried out or received in business organization must be properly recorded. It is the function of the secretaries to keep and retrieve all useful information which the organization may need from time to time because office records constitute the bedrock of any business organization. Nwosu (2000).
Consequently, there is a proper and effective need to arrange and sort all records and preserve records so that they may be readily located when required.
According to Ohakwe , records are used in communicating information, giving directives, expressing opinions and initiating ventures. Records are formal or official in nature. It is pertinent to stress the principles, which underlie good office records. Every office records must be clear and should avoid verbose expressions in keeping appropriate records. Keeping records in business organization includes various ways of knowing and proper handling of that official information needed for the day to day running of the business such as minutes of the meeting, reports, letter memos, notices, circulars and other office correspondence.
Akuwudike Ugwu (2001), stated that, secretaries are required to improve in keeping accurate and fresh records upon which to base the decisions, to know which direction to go, how far, with what resources, and within what cost and time constraint in an organization. Record is not a basic and universal need of every business organization but also an integral competent of everything they need.
Secretaries ought to have different strategies and be able to grasp new technology existing in business organization. records management existing in the business organization records management require competency in opening new files, changing close files, disposing obsolete records, coding closed files, keeping secrete indexing, prepare clients/staffs records composes and issue circulars as well as cross reference documents as stated by Ohakwe and et al (2008)
For secretaries to also use different strategies to improve record management skills in business organization in Owerri, it was good stated by Ohakwe (2000) that it consisted of much competence and ability to ensure good records for both internal and external purposes. Secretaries with irrelevant record management skills are precariously positioned in business organization, because the professional secretaries would grasped with technological innovations and would need to acquire new appreciation of their roles by developing increasingly large capacity for adoption to changing trends which will enable being equipped in record management in business organization.
Nwosu (2000) further opined that modern business organization relies on records for proper decision making because good management decision is based on past records, it is very important that records that can aid the management to make authentic and quick decision should be properly kept for easy referencing decisions should be properly kept for easy referencing. The need to get past information when needed is to necessitate the need for appropriate records management, good arrangement, procedure in assessing incoming and out going mails. Business organization in Owerri exist primarily to provide good records in which it belongs, and secretaries are everything who make the wheel of the business organization by the use of good knowledge in handling records for the betterment of the organization.
According to Ohakwe (2002), secretary should have effective knowledge in writing, organizing records as well as other related records skills because as a secret keeper of the organization office secrets are seen in the documents should be properly supplied as when needed. Business organization in Owerri require secretaries that will enable to achieve the set goals because secretaries are regarded as the gatekeeper, image maker and the first person to meet in business organization and their responsibilities stands that they should ensure a good records skills for both the boss, visitors, clients etc; because no employer ever gets confused in his administrations if the secretary is comprehensively trained to understand the higher levels or strategies used in the administrative activities. Secretaries should think of offering those service and skills in an organized entrepreneur manner so as to aid the organization and influence the entire business life of the boss not only positively but also profitably.
Strategies for improving records management skills of secretaries includes – knowing the records management required, strategies/procedures for records management equipments. Memory aids for records management, methods for records management as well as others/appropriate records management skills required of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri.
In other words, when secretaries in business organization ensure good records management, it helps the organization to facilitate decisions making, reference/evidence, have direct contact with customers and outsiders as well as enable organizations to meet its target towards achieving the set goals. As well inappropriate keeping of records in business organization lead to wrong information and clients being in isolation thereby leading organization to failure.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Secretaries encounter a lot of problems in handling records in business organization. It has been found out that records are poorly managed in the offices. This was observed by Ohakwe, S. N. and et al (2008). Communication skills, Owerri: cape publishers. And Idih, E. I. N. (200) Contemporary secretaries duties. Owerri Center for Research and Manpower Publisher. The study was carried out to determine the appropriate method of records management for effectiveness in the office.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to discover the problems and constraints in strategies for improving records management skills of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri, Imo state specifically; the object of the study is to:
a. Determine the record management skills required of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri.
b Ascertain the procedure and strategies handling records in selected business organization in Owerri
c Determine the equipment/memory aids connected to records management skills.
d. Ascertain the system secretaries used to arrange records in selected business organization in Owerri.
e Evaluate how well secretaries ensure appropriate records management in selected business organization in 0werri
1.4 Research Question
To guide the study, the following research questions were
a What records management skills are required of secretaries in selected business organization in Owerri?
b What procedures/strategies do secretaries use to improve records management skills in selected business organization in Owerri?
C How well do secretaries use equipment/memory aids connected to records management?
d. What system do secretaries use to arrange records in selected business organization in Owerri?
e. How well do secretaries ensure appropriate/other
Records management in selected business organization?
1.5 Significance of the study
Records management in every business organization relies mainly on how well information and activities of the organization are organized to ensure day to day running of the business. Research study have measured how well records are manage, discovering ways of improving records management skills by secretaries in selected business organization which also generate data to compare the achievements of records management skills needed in businesses organization in Owerri.
The finding of this study is significant because it will expose various strategies secretaries used to improve keeping records and extended the frontiers of knowledge in business organization by proving additional information that will expand solidity existing knowledge.
Finally this study is an attempt to obtain various successful skills in managing records in organization, which will be of important to prospective secretaries, executives territory institutions and organizational setting to reserve their curriculum in different ways of managing records in business organization. .
Scope of the Study
This study restricted to know how secretaries use different strategies to improve record management skills in selected business organization in Owerri. It is out to consider the records management skills required of secretaries, procedure for handling records, equipment/ memory aids connected to record management and the outcome of appropriate record management skills in business organization in Owerri.
Limitation of the Study
The research encountered a few constraints during the process of the study. This study was originally designed to cover eight (8) business organizations in Owerri but half way in to the study five (5) of the business organization in Owerri were covered due to researcher inability to meet up with means of reaching eight (8) business organizations.. This led to a slight drop in the sample size..
Another constraint was the reluctances of some respondents to volunteer information because they did not believe the assurance given that the data collected were purely for academic purpose. Most of the executives in business organization delayed in given out information with the explanation of being occupied in various business activities and some of the secretaries being so busy in the office kept on postponing giving information.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Every profession has its own terminology and secretaries are not exception. To avoid technical ambiguities, therefore, it would be necessary to define some of the terms, concepts and constructs that appear in this study.
Secretaries: According to Nwosu (2000), secretaries are those duties are writing of minutes, filling are those whose duties are writing of minutes, filing taking and transcribing shorthand, assisting the boss in his correspondence, keeping office impress, and the carrying out of the day to day office duties. They are also called personally assistants.
Strategies: Anao (1979) in Orbiagele (2006), stated that strategies are scheme, methods which management hopes to deploy in order to move the organization from its present position to arrive at its targets goal by the end of a specified period, and recognize that during the intervening period a host of changes are going to take place in the environment.
Record: A record is anything that provides information about the past. It could be in form of inward correspondence, outward correspondence, internal correspondence (memoranda), endorsement, minutes, reports, estimates, personal documents, accounts, accounting and financial documents, inventory, written institution, general orders, notes in files and completed forms Nwosu (2002).
Records Management: Record management as stated by Ohakwe (2000) refers to complete cycle of records which includes all activities dealing with the creation, maintenance, use and disposition of records, aims at classifying, arranging and storing records so that they could be quickly located when required.
Business Organization: This is a combination of people’s efforts working together in pursuits of certain common purposes with the aim of making profits.
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