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AN EVALUATION OF OFFICE AUTOMATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE JOB PERFORMANCE OF SECRETARIES IN THE BANKING SECTOR OF CAMEROON

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AN EVALUATION OF OFFICE AUTOMATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE JOB PERFORMANCE OF SECRETARIES IN THE BANKING SECTOR OF CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Before computer technology became widely used, secretarial tasks included drafting and recording meeting minutes, organizing meeting minutes books on book shelves, and performing other administrative tasks by a secretary by hand.However, the advent of information technology has significantly reshaped the responsibilities of secretaries by integrating various tools such as computers, electronic communication systems, and digital minute books. These technological advancements have streamlined the tasks traditionally carried out by secretaries and administrative assistants. Their roles now include a wide range of administrative and clerical duties crucial for the smooth operation of an organization. Also, managing information flow, coordinating meetings and schedules, organizing and maintaining both physical and digital records, overseeing projects, conducting research, and disseminating information through various channels such as telephone, mail services, websites, and email. (Kontos, 2015). Similarly, one of the newest buzzwords for the computer augmentation of routine office tasks is "office automation." Office automation serves as a valuable tool for secretaries, allowing them to efficiently handle routine tasks and clerical work with speed, accuracy, and automation beyond the capabilities of humans. This frees up the secretary to focus on more complex tasks such as payroll management and composing letters, which require specialized expertise and precision. Additionally, modern office automation equipment often includes extensive storage capabilities, allowing for the retention of vast amounts of information within their memory units. Moreover, office automation has created new job opportunities, particularly for secretarial assistants.

Office automation involves the use of personal computers, word processors, electronic communication systems, and other technologies aimed at enhancing workers' productivity and efficiency. According to Atakpa (2022),it entails the automation of various processes within an office environment. As offices increasingly rely on technology, the role of office professionals, including secretaries and administrative assistants, has undergone significant evolution. Office automation and organizational restructuring have led to these professionals taking on responsibilities that were once reserved for managerial and professional staff (Horby, 2018). Despite these changes, the fundamental responsibilities of secretaries and administrative assistants remain largely unchanged. They continue to perform and coordinate administrative activities within the banking sector, as well as manage information retrieval and dissemination to staff and clients.Additionally, office automation gives businesses and various sectors a significant competitive advantage over similar businesses (International Federation of Robotics, 2017). This is especially true in light of the recent changes to the global economy (Azma, Izanlou, & Mostafapour, 2020), as these devices enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency by facilitating easy communication, providing quick access to stored data, and facilitating the efficient retrieval of records (Barakat, 2017). Without office automation, job performance may suffer. According to the Business Dictionary (2018), job performance refers to the assigned tasks and the degree to which they are completed by the employee. While Shoji & Valden(2018) state that organizational objectives may not be accomplished without job performance, as work outcomes are closely associated with the accomplishment of organizational strategic goals and customer satisfaction.On the other hand, 

Yaghoubis and Sargazi (2019) emphasize the crucial link between office automation and job performance, asserting that organizations have no alternative but to embrace these technologies due to their ability to enhance speed and time-saving compared to traditional methods. They argue that office automation, encompassing both software and hardware resources, can significantly aid employees and organizations in achieving their objectives more efficiently and expeditiously.They further suggest that office automation fosters alignment between organizational goals and staff objectives by promoting efficiency and accountability in office operations. For instance, the implementation of accounting software can incentivize staff to pursue organizational goals diligently, as the software simplifies tasks such as bank reconciliations and accounting entries, thereby facilitating their completion. Therefore, a survey will be conducted to evaluate on office automation and its impact on the job performance of secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The development of office technologies in contemporary corporations has put employees' vocational abilities, particularly secretaries', to the test. However, in modern organizations, these  technologies have revolutionized office skills and made some obsolete, like transcription and manual typewriter typing, while also giving rise to previously unheard-of skills, like webpage design, desktop publishing, networking, and internet skills. Clearly, this growth has put secretaries' abilities and duties to the test. In addition, these developments in communication technologies have forced secretaries to adapt if they want to stay current in their performance of office duties and keep up with the rapid innovations in technology found in today's cutting-edge workplaces. It is impossible to overstate the importance of ICT facilities in the management and performance of tasks in banking sectors. The contribution of ICT to secretaries' jobs, whose primary duties include processing, managing, and disseminating information, has received less attention. In today's dynamic technological workplace, some secretaries' inefficiency with ICT seems obvious. As was already mentioned, one of the primary reasons secretaries in the majority of firms perform poorly is because they just do not know how to use communication technology. Many of them continue to perform poorly overall because they lack the communication technology abilities needed in the various offices. 

Furthermore, the management of banking sectors has frequently been concerned about the lack of expertise among secretaries in the areas of webpage design, desktop publishing, office application, networking, internet access, etc. A secretary is characterized by researchers as someone who is adaptable in making efficient use of contemporary office automation and ICT. Even with the arrival of these new technology to organizations, particularly banking sectors, some secretaries continue to do office activities using antiquated methods.  Hence, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to  analyze the perception of male and female staff on the role of leadership styles in shaping employee engagement in pure water manufacturing companies in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to  analyze the perception of male and female staff on the role of leadership styles in shaping employee engagement in pure water manufacturing companies in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Determine the extent office automation technologies are adopted in the banking sector of Cameroon

Determine whether there is a significant relationship between office automation and the job performance of secretaries.

Find out the office automation systems utilized by secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon

Find out the impact of office automation on the job performance of secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon.

Identify the the challenges encountered by secretaries in utilizing office automation systems in the banking sector of Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

To what extent are office automation technologies adopted in the banking sector of Cameroon?

Is there a significant relationship between office automation and the job performance of secretaries?

What office automation systems are utilized by secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon?

What is the impact of office automation on the job performance of secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon?

What challenges do secretaries encounter in utilizing office automation systems in the banking sector of Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypothesis

H0: There is no significant relationship between the implementation of office automation and the job performance of secretaries in the Banking sector of Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between the implementation of office automation and the job performance of secretaries in the Banking sector of Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study 

Secretaries will benefit from the study's findings, as it directly concerns their job roles and performance. Recognizing the effects of automation on their employment will help them adapt to changes and potentially improve their productivity. Also, this knowledge will help banking sector employers make informed decisions about implementing new technologies and training programs to enhance efficiency. Additionally, this research will help companies that create and offer office automation solutions better understand the demands and obstacles of their target market. They will be able to modify their products or create fresh approaches based on the results to  better meet the requirements of the banking sector in Cameroon. Further more, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to a comparative analysis of the perception of male and female staff on the role of leadership styles in shaping employee engagement in pure water manufacturing companies in Cameroon

1.7 Scope of the study 

The scope of this study is boarded on a comparative analysis of the perception of male and female staff on the role of leadership styles in shaping employee engagement in pure water manufacturing companies in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will determine the extent office automation technologies are adopted in the banking sector of Cameroon, determine whether there is a significant relationship between office automation and the job performance of secretaries, find out the office automation systems utilized by secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon and the impact of office automation on the job performance of secretaries in the banking sector of Cameroon, and identify the the challenges encountered by secretaries in utilizing office automation systems in the banking sector of Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of some selected banks in Bamenda, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Secretaries: are individuals employed to assist executives, managers, or professionals in administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing correspondence, organizing files, and providing general support to ensure smooth operations within an organization.

Job performance: refers to the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of an individual's work in fulfilling their responsibilities and achieving organizational goals

Office Automation: involves the integration of computer technology and software applications to streamline and automate routine office tasks and processes.

Banking Sector: industry made up of financial institutions offering a variety of financial services, including money management, lending, deposit taking, and investment.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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