THE PROBLEMS FACED BY NEWLY EMPLOYED OFFICE TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT GRADUATES (A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC NEKEDE OWERRI)

THE PROBLEMS FACED BY NEWLY EMPLOYED OFFICE TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT GRADUATES (A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC NEKEDE OWERRI)

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ABSTRACT

This research is aimed at evaluating the problems faced by newly employed office technology and management graduates in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri Imo state. It focused on the effect of the job performance on office technology & management graduates with the introduction of modern office equipments, the changes and challenges it posed on them using about 30 new graduates of office technology & management in the institution as the study population. The result of analysis shows that graduates of office technology and management in federal polytechnic agreed that the introduction of modern office equipments affects their performance. But despite the problems, office equipments have the tendency of improving the office manager’s job performance. Conclusion was drawn based on these findings that graduates of office technology and management job performance depend on their level of acquiring machines operating skills necessary for operating those equipments. The researcher therefore recommended that organizations should endeavor to train and re-train their newly employed graduates of office technology and management in order to meet the changing nature of technology.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The office manager is an important personnel and a public relation on the business world.  This view of the office technology and management graduate’s functions are archaic one in view of the changes that have taken place in her training and her job, but one might ask “is there anything so unique about the office manager and her ability in handling medium office equipments?”  The answer is “Yes”.,  the office manager  besides being an official who is in charge of correspondence  or records  should be able to know how to operate the modern  office equipments ranging from type-writers to  computers.

In every area of human Endeavour, new entrants are naturally faced with certain challengers or problems are not usually very simple. Some are not complex and so frightening that they can easily throw the ill equipped out of the track. This phenomenon is found in every profession including office managers.

However, the intensity of the problem varies according to the circumstances and the demands of the jobs. The newly employed Office Managers in Federal Polytechnic Nekede are prone to these problems much more than other staffs. One of the major problems they faced is that of acceptability. Before an office manager can comfortably work in any office, there must be an evidence of co-operation among the staffs. This co-operation is born out of the willingness of the senior staffs to accommodate the new staff. The co-operation is expected from both the super ordinate, coordinate and subordinate staff of the organization.

Before such cooperation is given however, the newly employed office managers must show an evidence of proficiency. She must display the skills, qualities and attribute which are required of her. Furthermore, she must understand that most of her sub-ordinate staff have been in the school for many years. They are more experienced in the jobs than her presence in the organization is a threat to their chance of moving forward.

It is hoped that at the end of this study,  its will provide or identify the problems facing the newly employed graduates of Office Technology and Management in their office environment  and ways to improve their performance.        

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

       In every work place, there is every tendency to experience difficulties in the course of performing one’s duties particularly in the higher institution of learning. Going by these pressing issues, there is a lot of problem faced by newly employed graduates of office technology and management in work. They are expected to face some challenges and some of these problems are inherent to today’s institution while some emanates from academic environment, visitors and other staff of the institution.

       According to Njoku [2005] some of the problems inherent from today’s graduates of office technology and management may be inadequate equipment or unfamiliarization with some modern office equipments for production of satisfactory work.

Ifedili (1995)  noted that office managers are one of the most indispensable tools needed in all spheres of  human Endeavour. He further added that government parastatals, ministries, companies and private organization and institution need office managers for the smooth operation and achievement of their set objectives.

Elendu (2000), described office managers as the life –wire of organization. He further defined office managers as the pivot on which the  management of any organization revolves. He describes the office managers as an assistant to the executive, possessing mastery of office skills and the ability to assume responsibilities without direct supervision, who display initiative, exercise judgment and makes decision without the scope of her authority.

But research have shown that the newly employed office managers in Federal Polytechnic Nekede and other institutions are found wanting in these attributes. The newly employed office managers are fresh graduate managers who have little experience. They were trained with absolute equipment.

Okoye (1999), stated that employers expects their office  manager  to be  able to operate electronic gadgets such as word processors, computer, telex, fax machines, the switch board equipment and other office equipments. It has been discovered tha the new graduate of office manager cannot operate these machine (a part from  computer) because they were not exposed to these machines during their training. This has placed a question mark on their skills.                          

       The newly employed graduates of office technology and management do not understand the objective of the institution, how it functions and what is expected of employees. The tremendous innovation in office equipment in few decades has caused revolution changes in both the nature of work and that of the secretary’s role. Whitehead [1981].

These equipments innovation, which is mainly in the one of computer, reprographic machines, world processor etc, posed a lot of problem to the office technology and management graduates in the institution. Institution is advance with the use of all these new equipment like computer electronic typewriter, word processor, to be skillfully utilized by office managers in any institution and organization so that its goal will be achieved.

Statement of the Problem

       This is more like a question that needs answer. What gave rise to this problem are the complaint made by firms or institution who have inexperienced office managers as their manager and also firms who have ordinary typist {clerk} as manager.

       The graduates of office technology and management lack skills in operating computer, electronic typewriter, photocopies etc. If they should posses the skill required of them; the modern business will reap the benefit of electronic equipment.

       The use of the modern equipment to disseminate information has posed more problems of constant failure, inadequate finance to purchased these machines, lack of training and retraining, facilities to retain office managers on the intricacies and operation of those sophisticated machines, besides; the use of office equipment may expose an office manager to substantial risk of loosing their job.

Significance of the Study

              The findings of the study will benefit the civil service workers in exposing the absence of such potentialities in them.

       The findings of the study will in addition enlighten the students of office technology and management on the demand of their future office and industries and their expectation in terms of excellent office skills. 

It will also be beneficial to office managers in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri to up date their skills.

Finally, to academicians and researchers who wants to carry out similar research on this topic.

Research Question

Some research questions formulated for the purpose of this study are:

1.         How does the modern equipment affect the performance of newly employed graduates of office technology and management in federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri?

2.        What challenges do modern office equipment pose to an office manager in some offices?

3.         What are the changes that have been associated with the introduction of modern equipments?

4.         What are the solutions to these problems facing the newly employed graduates of office technology and management in this institution?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is limited to finding the problem faced by newly employed graduates of office technology and management in federal polytechnic Nekede, Owerri.

This study also looks at the availability of the modern equipment and the problems these modern machines pose in the office managers performance. This also implies that the duties or functions of the office managers go beyond the typing and filling of documents.





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