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As you know in every office, a large volume of information in form of letters, circulars, and telegrams are sent to outsiders or received from them. Inside the organization also written materials are exchanged between different departments. All this items when received need to be documented by a secretary for future reference. A planned and efficient handling of these records is essential for the success of any business organization. It is described as the backbone and an integral part of an office.

        Hicks (1964) described that In the course of doing business, records are created through a variety of government activities such as vehicle registration, professional licensing, procurement contract transactions, general correspondence, and other external and internal business processes. Records may be created and transmitted in a variety of ways:

• Handwritten.

• Typewritten.

• Audio/video recording.

• Computer generated (including e-mail and databases).

These records support, document, and provide evidence of a variety of organizations activities including:

• Business processes.

• Program evaluation.

• Information policy making processes.

• Accountability ensurance.

• Facilities planning.

This paper addresses the role of secretaries in record management, real world dilemmas of what a record is and the task of its lifecycle management by proposing a working definition of a record, discussing the challenges of managing records by secretaries, and identifying a set of best practice recommendations.

1.1   Background of the Study

Records capture information used to protect the rights and interests of governments, businesses and citizens and to preserve history and culture by documenting information about noteworthy people, issues, places, and events.

Most of these records are useful for a relatively short period of time and can then be destroyed. Some of the records will represent the agency’s business record and need to be maintained for stewardship and public accountability purposes. Some records need to be preserved for many years, and a few should be preserved permanently to maintain the historical record. The challenge for public officials is to manage each of these types of records, making sure that those records with important information are preserved, while records that are no longer valuable are disposed of in an appropriate and legal manner.

The secretaries is the back-bone of any organization, thus, she is also important to the organization because of her ability to remain calm under extra-ordinary conditions of the work pressures and human demand.  This view of the secretary’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 secretaries and her ability in handling office records.?”  The answer is “Yes”, the secretaries besides being an officer who is in charge of correspondence or records or confidential personnel should be able to know how to handle office records properly.  It is hoped that at the end of this study, its will provide or identify the roles secretaries played in record management.  

        Handling of office records by secretaries has always been a problem and secretaries have a serious role to play in organizing and preserving these records for the organization productivity. It was under this background that the researcher is prompt to carry out this research.

1.2   Statement of the Problems

        Although the main purpose of managing office records properly is to keep information safe and readily available to the secretaries and the organizations as when needed. Improper handling of records can pose or may involve an element of risk to the secretaries and the entire organization as well as affecting her performance.  The secretaries has to be aware and prepared for these.  Ahukannah (2000) stated that the cause of the problems militating against handling of office records properly by the secretaries are lack of training, inadequate knowledge of the computer in storing information in the company’s database, lack of office record and filing equipments, management attitude, lack of technical know-how by the secretaries in storing these records, etc..  Inadequate training and skills requirement is another problem associated with bad record management.

1.3   Objective of the Study

   The main objective of this study is to identify the various roles of secretaries in record management using first bank as a reference or case study.  Specifically, the study attempt to:

1)  Identify the various kinds of office records available in the organization.

2)    Determine the skills needed by secretaries in handling these office records.

3)    Find out if records are adequately handled in the organization or bank.

4)  Evaluate the extent to which the secretaries can operate some record processing or storage equipments such as computer system.

5) Identify the problems which the secretarys encounters in the handling of these office records.

6) To make suggestions on how these problems can be resolved.

1.4   Research Questions

The research question is:

1.  What are the various kinds of office records secretarys handled?

2.   What are the skills that  secretarys  need to handle all these records?

3.   What are the adequacies of these skills?

4. what are the benefits of handling office records properly?

5)  What are the problems encountered by secretarys in handling office records?

1.5   Significance of the Study

        The result of this study will help secretarys to identify some problems facing them in handling records.  It will also explain how important secretarys are in an organization or the bank and to know many unique things about secretarys (i.e.) their strong ability to handle records effectively.  It is strongly believe that after going through this study, it will serve as a useful tools as it will be informative and educative to prospective student’s secretaries who wants to carry on further research on the subject matter.

1.6   Scope and limitations of the Study

    The scope of this study is limited to look at the “Roles of secretarys in record management. This work is limited to first bank Plc Owerri alone.

In the course of the research work, the researcher encountered some constraints, which affected the final output of the study.  There limitations amongst others include:

a.   Time:  The time available for the completion of the research study was not adequate.  This was because the researcher was mandated to report her findings within a fixed time limit during the academic session.

b.  Cost:  For a maximum fulfillment of the objective of this study, the researcher needed to visit all the office of first bank secretaries to obtain first-hand information.  This, she could not achieve due to the huge expenses that would be incurred in the process.

c.   Attitudes of Respondents:  The negative attitude of some respondents to the researcher’s request for audience in answering questions or filling the questionnaires also constituted a constraint to the assignment.

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