Friday, 11 August 2017

Impact of Information and Communication Technology on the influence performance of secretaries in government ministries


This research titled impact of information and communication technology on the performance of secretaries in Ebonyi state government ministries was carried out to determine extent of the relevance of information and communication technologies in secretaries’ performance in government ministries and to determine the extent of availability of information and communication technologies in government ministries.
The research was a survey research. The research studied 180 secretaries in Government ministries in Ebonyi state; questionnaire was the major instrument of data collection while statistical mean and standard deviation were used in data analysis. The bench mark for acceptance or rejection of variable was 2.5.The findings of the research shows that, there is a limited extent of the relevance of information and communication technologies in secretaries’ performance in government ministries in Ebonyi State, there is an insignificant extent of availability of information and communication technologies in government ministries in Ebonyi State and there is a limited extent of utilization of information and communication technologies by secretaries in government ministries. Hence the researcher recommended that, Government Ministries should encourage secretaries to empower themselves through further studies and vocational trainings in ICT.This can be achieved by giving them study leave and other opportunities for skill acquisition and Government Ministries should establish and maintain skill acquisition centre where secretaries should be trained in ICT and other related skills. 

1.1 Background to the Study 

The world of business is changing rapidly as a result of technological development. This is very wide department from the traditional business enterprises to the evolution of international and multinational organizations in Nigerian economy. Some of these establishments have acquired and installed modern communications equipment. Thus, Otile (2011) states that the emergence of information and communication technology (ICT) has given a new improved life to communication in the office, factory, banks, hospitals, hotels, supermarkets, garage or at home. As information and communication technology (ICT) continues to expand in offices across the nation, the role of the secretaries has greatly evolved.

Office automation and organizational restricting have led secretaries to assume of wide range of new responsibilities once and reserved for managerial and professional staff. Secretaries now need to be provided with training and orientation, conduct research on the internet and learn to operate new office technologies. This will enable the secretary to work along with other staff and meet the challenges of modern office. Igbafen (2012) asserts that, there is no doubt that the secretary remains the life-wire of any organization. Contributions and effectiveness of a secretary depends on how he/she can cope with the modern technologies. However, with the development of new technology, secretarial position is becoming increasing challenging and more sophisticated that the common traditional role of a secretary are gradually being faced out.

Secretaries are responsible for a variety of administration and clerical duties necessary to run an organization effectively. They serves as information charring house for an office, schedules an appointment, provide information to caller, organize and maintain paper and electronic file, manager project, and provide correspondents. Secretaries are aided in these tasks by a variety of office equipment such as computer, photocopier and telephone systems. Udeagha (2011) observes that, in addition, secretaries increasing use personal computer to run spreadsheet, wood processing, database management, desktop publisher and graphic programs which are tasks previously handled by managers.

The impact of technological improvement in the office demands that the development of a successful secretarial career today depends upon the secretary to acquire information and communication technology (ICT) based skills and expertise as well skills required for each category of staff. Technology changes in our environment coupled with competition within a particular industry or in the society account for the reason why secretaries should engage in training and development to meet up with the challenges. Thus, Amadi (2012) observes that, secretaries no longer simply type correspondence for their boss. But now, they often write that correspondence as well as plan meeting, organize data using spreadsheet and database management.

It is however unfortunate that in most government offices, secretaries still depends on manual secretarial office equipments to carry out their jobs. Most of the secretaries in public offices of government still make use of analog processes and practices like using reed pen in taking shorthand dictations, processing minutes and letters, and this make their jobs boring and less interesting. Secretaries who lack knowledge of computer and other aspects of information and communication technology tends to be very slow in carrying out their jobs and can not serve effectively as administrative assistants, office co-coordinators, executive assistants etc as contemporary and competent secretaries do. The low level of performance of secretaries in most ministries in Ebonyi state, despite the huge amount of money spent by the government in constructing staff development centre and organizing ICT training for the civil servants in Ebonyi state is very worrisome. Hence, this research attempts to investigate the impact of information and communication technology in influencing the performance of civil servants in Ebonyi state civil service system.

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