1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The secretarial profession has come a long way; ranging from a stage of insignificance to a stage where and when it has become indispensable in the administration of modern office. The wadle of this noble profession saw the secretary as a mere “keeper of secrets”. This description of the secretary depicts more of his function than his person.
The next stage saw the secretary as “A person employed by another person, society or corporation for the purpose of conducting correspondence, keeping records and transacting other businesses”. He acts as an aid and the closest assistant to the Principal/Boss. He is the vehicle through which his boss’s or organisation’s actions are conveyed to the public in readable and discernable form.
The secretary had at sometime been regarded as a disposable employee who should be hired and fired at random. This view manifested in the case of Barnett. Hoarse and company vs. South London Tranways when the leaned judge, Lord Estier (1887), noted, that “A secretary is a mere servant, his position is that he is to do what he is told and no person can assume that he has any authority to represent anything at all … “. This position of the secretary remained unchanged as a George Witechurch ltd Vs. Cararagh (1902) and in Reuben vs Great Fougale Consolidated (1906) where Lord Macnaghten upheld the decision of Lord Esher.
The position of the secretary, however, has improved tremendously from what in the past. The enhanced roles and status of the secretary was give credence in Pamoran Development Ltd vs. Fidelis Funishing Fabrecs Ltd where Lord Denning (1971) ruled that:- “… but times have changed. A secretary is a much more important person nowadays than she was in 1887. She is administrative officer of the company. As regards is matters concerning administration, in my judgement, the secretary has ostensible authority to sign contracts on behalf of the company. Furthermore, of a company is hiring cars to meet its foreign customers at the airport, nothing to my mind is more natural than that the company would live those came though its secretary.
The important role of the secretary has been appreciated by even in Nigeria. Ovie Whisky (1978) said, “the constitutional Drafting Committee owes its greatest debt to members of the secretarial staff without whose hand work, patience and fore beagueen, its work would have made all the move difficult. The committee wishes to express its profound gratitude to its able secretary and his energetic assistants, … not only for the efficient manner in which they looked after the welfare of the members but also for providing exceptional secretarial services …, in particular for preparation of excellent records of discussions and conclusion”.
The secretary has arrived in the modern industrialized society of today, and so, dissatisfies’ or hygiene factors of Heizberg’s two factor theory have set in some of these ‘dissatisfies’ including company policy, and administration, quality of supervision, relation with supervisor/boss, relation with peers, salary, job security, personal life, working conditions and environment, status etc.