Impact of Working Conditions on Performance of Professional Secretaries

Impact of Working Conditions on Performance of Professional Secretaries (A Case Study Of Anamco Emene, Enugu)


          According to Ekpo (1992), no formed organization can achieve its goals and objectives with its human resources or personnel.  He further stated that even when the material resources exists in abundance, people must be there to use the material resources judiciously so as to realize the goals and objectives of the organisation.

According to Miller and (Brewer (1976)< numerous factors relating directly to the person, the work environment of the outside culture can lead to sub-standard performance.  Campbell and Associates (1970) remarked that there is no way the factors affecting the work performance of a worker can be discussed without mentioning the value a person places in a particular outcome; that is consequence of an action such as a reward or punishment.

For example, when there is a desire by the secretary to become the executive secretary then each promotion or broadening experience would have a high balance for that secretary.  Campbell and his associates states that he or she (the secretary) will be wiling to undergo the personal inconveniences associated with even a geographical relocation is the represented one step closer to the post.  And as a result, high balance contributes to  high efficient work performance.

Ekpo (1992) readily agrees that so many factors affect human performance of work.  Accordingly, motivational incentives and leadership styles as some of that it is not worker at work is to give them a financial incentive to check closely on the performance.



EKPO (1982) states that leader is characterized by a strong desire for responsibility and task completion, vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals, drive to exercise initiative in social situation, self confidence and a sense of personal identity, willingness to tolerate frustration and delay, ability to influence other person’s behaviour and capacity to structure, social interaction systems to the purpose at hand (stogdill 1994).

Despite certain implications in some publications that there is a best and ideal leadership style, studies by researchers have categorically rejected this simple solution.  Contemporary view according to Owen (1996) is that the leadership style depends on:

The individual followers, the kind of people they are and circumstances on any given day or hour.

On any given day or hour:  He gave the following Autocratic, Diplomatic, Bureaucratic participative;  Laisser – faire as types of leadership styles.


          The autocratic Leader or autocrat has authority from some source sucha s his position knowledge, strength, or power to reward and punish, and, he uses this authority as his principal, or only method of getting things done.  This person seeks little or no input from the group in decision making but it uses his own data to make decisions.  He is frankly authoritarian; knows what he  wants done, and how, tells people what their work assignments are, and demands unquestioning obedience owens (1976).

Keith (1972) is of the opinion that he autocratic leadership style makes workers develop defensive behaviour, furthermore he maintains that punitive method of correction have a dampening effect on production as people do learn from mistakes.


The diplomat is an artist who, like the salesman lives by the arts of personal persuasion.  Although he has the same authority as the autocrat, the diplomat profess to sell people and operates as much as possible, by persuasion and broad scale, individual motivation of people.  He will usually relate his organizational goals to the personal individual needs and aspirations of his people.

Edet (1992) maintains that management decent working conditions and adequate pay.  In return, employees are expected to be co-operative, loyal and productive.  A dependency relationship is created where their organization members are told that as long as they remain loyal, management will do everything for them.


          According to Owens (1976) the bureaucratic tells people what to do, and how, but the basis for his orders is almost exclusively the organizations policies, procedures and rules.  He manages entirely these rules absolutes.  He manages the book and no exceptions are permitted.


          The participative leader openly invites his people to participate or share, to a greater or lesser extent in decisions, policy making and operation methods.  He is either a democratic or consultative leader.  The democratic or consultative leader. The democratic or concultative leader joins his groups decision whether a received at a consensus or by majority vote.  When he has gathered from as may of his staff as possible (Ekpo 1986).

Koontz et al (1980), observes that if enterprise manager would rely upon all employees to contribute towards group accomplishment with zeal and confidence there would be no need to develop the art of leadership morale.  The approach could increase productivity to the maximum capacity.

Likert (1978) says that the more fully participatory leadership is applied throughout the organization, the greater will be the extent to which employees motivational forces arising from the non-economic needs will be harmonized.

Hollaran (1978) maintains that the most people demonstrates high productivity when they are given a fair amount of freedom.

They maximize their potentials and become creative and satisfied.

Person (1979) also opines democratic leadership style, the leader gives guidance and assistance to individual gladly, while ensuring that it is not at expense of the organizational goals.


          This type of leader does not literally abandon all control.  He sets a goal for his organization that is for his subordinates as well as clear parameters such as policies, deadlines and budget. He sets his subordinates free to operate without further direction or control unless the subordinates himself request it (Owens 1976).

Koontz et al (1984) maintaining that this leader uses his power very little if at all, giving subordinates a high degree of independent in their operations.  He further mentioned that  such leaders depends largely on employees to set their own goals and the means of achieving them.

Halloran (1978), observed that laissez – faire leadership style is completely non directive and the highest authority invested on the employers.

Ekpo (1986), agrees with this but adds that this workers very well where there is an abundance of competitive talents and where there are many persons who are highly individualistic.


          Bower and seashome (1966), formulated that effective leadership is composed of the following four categories of leader behaviours.

  1. Support of subordinate
  1. Facilitation of interaction among members of the group.
  2. Emphasis upon meeting goals, and
  3. facilitation of the work (planning, coordinating and producing resources).

Some employers creditably well in certain organization with different kinds of leadership style. To cope with the challenges of operation in an organization, the employee must first become aware of the leadership style and the goals which condition his own behaviour.

The more he knows about the environments the better he would perform his job.

The theory of path-goal purports that the behaviour of the leader should be acceptable to satisfy subordinates to the extent that they see it as a source of satisfaction.

The satisfaction needs of subordinates depends on effective performance, coaching, directing, supporting and rewarding.  The leader should use the gods of the organization and promote group cohesiveness and team efforts, and increase personal satisfaction in work performance.

Koontz (1984) Path –geal theory points out that leaders should clarify and set goals to enhance participatory performance.  Participative leadership behaviour gives consideration to the needs of employees, shows concern for their well-being and creates a pleasant organizational climate.  Koontz also in his study are not suitable for effective running of the organization.  He also sees that inter personal abilities of employees performance can enhance high productivity.  He therefore mentioned factors like listening, communicating, decision making, motivation and dealing with uncertainty and some of tools for improvement.

V room (1964)  in his research discovered that employees place under democratic leadership style exhibited favourable response, high morale and high level of socialization as against those under autocratic and paternalistic style.

Also steer (1975) in his study discovered that increase in employees participating in planning and adopting changes produced increase in productivity less conflict and less resistant.  While non-involvement of employees leads to frustration grievance and resignation.

Miklos (1967) also in his research found out that achievement of organizational goals is a source of increased level of satisfaction.  When individuals are made to be part of such goals.

Later work at michigen by power and seashore found out that there is some what greater relationship between leadership behaviour and employees satisfaction than between leadership behaviour and employees         satisfaction than between leadership behaviour performance.  They also found out that the behaviour of the employee towards each other was significance in determining the level of employee satisfaction and performance.

Furthermore, they say that management leadership was primarily instrumental in shopping the degree to which the peer group was supportive towards its members and helped with the work.

Therefore, it could be seem from the above studies, that positive correction between organization participation and job satisfaction does not hold true for those who are autocratic and prefer to direct and to be directed.

The various studies also showed that participation has little effect on motivating employees who do not desire autonomy.

The researcher believes that the most influential aspect of management attribute as it affects the employee is the management assumption about the nature of the employees it leads.  He advocates that leadership  style influence the manager’s interaction with the workers neglects in the policy formulation and affect personal problems.

Furthermore, the researcher is of the major part in controlling work, group satisfaction and performance as Bowers and seashore pointed out, other elements such as power, work patterns and personal motivational factors are also significant in determining effectiveness.

 2.4     MOTIVATION:

          This Project titled working conditions on the performance of professional secretaries, a case study of ANAMMCO Emene, Enugu is meant to highlights some of the basic working conditions in an organization which will increase the  productivity of the staff or induce him or her to put in extra efforts.  Secretarial job is very demanding job.  This implies that for any secretary to perform effectively. Prevailing conditions are necessary for increase productivity.

One of the major problems confronting management is that of motivating workers to perform assigned tasks to meet a surpass predetermined standards.  Motivation is that energizing force that induce or compels and maintains behaviour.  Human behaviour us motivated, it is goal directed.

It is not easy to motivate an individual for the success of any motivational effort depends on the extent to which the motivation meets the needs of the individual employees for when it is intended.  Motivation is an internal psychological process whose presence or absence is inferred from observed performance.

Motivated behaviour has three basic characteristic:

  1. It is sustained – it is maintained for a long time until satisfied
  2. It is goal directed – sit seeks to achieve an objective.
  3. It results from a felt need – on urge directed towards a need


  • The Motivation Process:

A need creates a  tension in the individual who moves in a certain direction in order to achieve the desire objective which reduce the tension.  A statistics need does not motivate, conversely, an unsatisfied need motivates.  The diagram below shows the process of motivation.

The process of motivation

NEED                TENSION                GOAL                 REDUCTION


BEHAVIOUR                                                OF NEED


The process stores with a perceived need, then a tension is created which start the motivating behaviour, then there is a move towards the realization of the need a goal oriented behaviour. As soon as the need is satisfied, the tension relaxes.  To motivate an employee, management must create real need could be a desire to achieve through promotion, increase in wages or enjoyment of increase organizational favours, such as company cars with a Chauffeur.  Imagine needs of staff could be an aspiration to have someone to carry his brief case upstairs, have someone run into the office at the sound of the bell or visitors, fill papers before they enter into his office,

The task of  the management is to determine what are the volume of needs that will make him react according to organizational desires  increase productivity.

2.6     Employee Productivity and satisfaction

The essence of all motivational efforts is to increase employee productivity, motivated workers out produce unmotivated employers.  The factors that influence employee productivity are different from the factors that influence satisfaction.

Factors that influence productivity of an employee include.

  1. Ability
  2. Lack of technological know how or skill
  3. Lack of physiological drive
  4. Managerial ability and
  5. Attitude, and technology employed.


          Different people are endowed with different abilities from birth.  Those who are strong, talented or specially gifted excel in one field endeavor on the other. We have people who have a fair poor figures poor figures and others who resent it.  People who are physically weals are out-produced by those who are physically strong and better built.


          Skill is acquired through training.  Lack of skills could be due to the lack of opportunity to acquire training during childhood, due to family circumstances, lack of interest or any other reason.

Lack of physiological Drive

          Some people make a minimal demand on themselves.  Their expect6ations are low and they lack the drive.  These people appear content with what they have “Little be it or much”.  Employees who lack the competitive spirit lay behind those who are self motivated to achieve people who lack drive tend to be more interested in maintenance factors and shy away from responsibility or challenges.


          As has been pointed out of one of the key functions of management is to utilize the people in the accomplish these objectives, management must not only create a favourable environment in which the employees must work, but must motivate employees to greater performance when management fails to motivate on employee, he, the employee becomes a liability to the organization.  Manages are the hub on which the entire organization rotates.


An employee with poor attitude towards his work and the

organization is a low producer.  Attitude is  observable and could be infectious.  Employee who have had attitude to their work tend to fit into.  McGregor’s theory.  They work  because of the compulsion of their economic circumstances.  Poor attitude could be due to lack of motivation, poor work desing that robs the employee of his instrinsic or factors unconnected with work environment and beyond the control of management.


          The type of technology in use in an organisation influences employee productivity.  Ossolete equipment reduces output, increase stop pages, and regrets.  Where management employers, good techniques and innovative approaches, productivity is bound to increase, productivity is very important in management for it is a reflection of managemnt effectiveness and efficiency.

According to lawler and porter, on individual’s effort, abilities and traits and task perception, determine his performance.


          The researcher in this chapter has identified types of leadership style to include democratic, autocratic, bureaucratic laissez – faire and participative styles, leadership style may be through of a particular behaviour emphasized by a leader to motivate his group to accomplish some ends

Therefore, the manager should always remember that no two human beings are identical at all times.  Their beliefs, customs, suctions and problems are bound to  be different.  But one thing is that people must work together if the organization must succeed.

Management should adopt the type of leadership style that can tolerate all concerned.  It should also be noted that leadership style has an effect on set and marital status.  These could be positive or negative depending on individual perceptions and personal sentiments.  Consequently, managers one sometimes wrongly appraised bya their employees.

However, organization should style that should be employed so as to change the attitudes of confidential secretaries in particular and by so doing gets their total commitment.

Finally, it should be borne in mind that leadership styles influence the achievement of employee’s job satisfaction and workers under democratic style perform better than workers under other leadership styles.

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