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Title page                                                                 i
approval page                                                          ii

Certification                                                              iii         Dedication                                                          iv

Acknowledgement                                                    v

Table of Contents                                                     vii

Abstract                                                                   x

CHAPTER ONE                                                


Background of Study                                               1

Statement of the problem                                                4

Purpose of the study                                                5

Significance of the study                                                  5

Research Questions

Delimitations of the study                                                7



Meaning of a secretary                                             10

Qualities of a secretary                                            14

Functions and categories of secretary                      19

Types and characteristics of conflicts                      23

Summary of literature review                                   32




Design of the study                                                  34

Area of the study                                                      34

Population of the study                                            35

Sample of the study                                                 36

Instrument used for data collection                                 36

Distribution and retrieval of the instrument            37

Method of data collection                                         38





CHAPTER FIVE                                                 


Summary of findings                                                       44

Conclusion                                                              45

Recommendations                                                  45

Limitations of the study                                           47

Suggestions for further studies                                       48

References                                                               49

Appendix A                                                              50

Appendix B                                                              51




The major purpose of this research is to find out the causes of conflict between Secretaries and Bosses in Anambra State owned Establishments. The population of the study consists of 58 Secretaries in Anambra State Owned Companies. The sample for the study was the total population of the Secretaries which is 58. Three research questions were formulated which guided the study. Nine (9) items structure questionnaire was developed validated and tested for its reliability. The percentage method was used in calculation. The major findings of the study were:

  1. That secretaries have more area of conflict with their bosses than areas of mutual friendship.
  2. The consequences of such conflicts affect the progress of the establishment concerned.
  3. That if the possible strategies or procedures suggested can be adopted by the secretaries the conflict can be remedial.

It is concluded that, it is important for the secretaries to have a good working relationship with their bosses to stop the conflicts and achieve the goals of the establishment, and bosses should provide or create a room for negotiation between them and their secretaries.









Background of the study

A secretary is an assistant to an executive possessing mastery of office skills and ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who displays initiative, exercise judgment and takes decision within the scope to her authority. The Webster Dictionary of English (2005) however, defined a Secretary as one trusted with secret of or confidence of a superior, adviser, confident or one employed to handle correspondence   and manage routine and detailed work for a superior. This depicts that a secretary is a skilled personnel who possess both executive and personal attributes in managing the affairs of any organization effectively and efficiently in order to achieve organizational objective. From this description, Onasanya (1990) defines a Secretary as someone who possess adequate knowledge of administration or organization and the ability to achieve results through hard work and management of resources or people on behalf of his/her boss. Its classification depends basically on experience and their functions are diverse and this depends largely on the field of specification. The cadre of secretaries tends to determine and at the same time modify the function of such secretary.

According to Rule and Byars (1983), performance is the degree of accomplishment of the tasks that makes up on individual job, but the performance of these function can be greatly inhibited by certain functions.

According to Alancik and Fetter (1977) a job is satisfying when there is a match between the characteristic of the job and the needs of the individuals. The determinants include self-evolution, expectation, social norms, social comparisons, commitment etc, for instance, if on e expects a job to be paying well,  and it is not, them he/she will be dissatisfied. Also if one is not evaluated up to the standard, she will also not be happy (dissatisfied).

The Secretary’s satisfaction leads to organization commitment, while dissatisfaction result in behaviors is know to the organization. (Turnover, absentee’s, low morale, etc).

Those who are dissatisfied with their work never reach psychological maturity. They feel frustrated. Employees who like their jobs and other job related factors will be loyal and devoted employees. However, employees who strongly dislike and dissatisfied with their job or any other job related factors will often exhibits these feelings by taking absent or by taking more convert actions to disrupt the organization.

A Conflict is a serious disagreement or argument. Conflict has become a feature of labor management relationship in Nigeria while Secretaries and   Bosses in the industries should work harmoniously together for the betterment to the fulfilled in practice. Secretaries and bosses tend to have opposite views. This is because of the divergence between the expectation of management and labor in an Establishment.


Statement of the problem

The Secretary is flexible, technically good in their jobs and they are determined. Public concern regarding the conflicts of bosses and secretaries in Nigeria has been on the increase in recent times. It is observed that many qualified secretaries desecrate their jobs and take to other professions entirely different from Secretarial profession. Many Secretaries that choose to remain in the profession do not seek ways of improving their management in an organization.

Generally, the concern is more on the conflicts between Bosses and Secretaries; no mention is ever made of the factors responsible of these conflicts. Certain questions need to be asked in an attempt to recognize those factors that causes the conflicts in state owned establishment.


Purpose of the Study

        The major purpose of this study is:

  • To basically investigate some of the causes of conflicts between Bosses and Secretaries in State owned Establishment.
  • To examine the damages which conflicts between bosses and secretaries caused to different industries
  • To find out the consequences of such conflicts
  • To suggest remedy and strategies for solving conflicts between Bosses and secretaries in state owned establishment.


Significance of the Study

The study is significant for the following reasons:

The result of the study will enable the Management to formulate a policy toward conflicts resolution in establishment industries.

It will help to highlight some of the factors which cause conflict between bosses and secretaries in a state establishment (AHOCOL) so that management will appreciate the seriousness of the problem.

The study will also enable the management to formulate policies towards conflicts resolution in industries. It will serve as a guide (especially in establishment industry) to enable them prepare their minds on how to take the conflicts likely to come.

The information contain in the study will be of assistance to students who might be interested in further research into other areas of secretaries and bosses conflicts not covered by not present study.





Research questions

  1. What are the factors that cause the conflicts between bosses and secretaries?
  2. What are the damages caused by such conflicts?
  3. What are the method used in resolving this conflict between bosses and secretaries?


Delimitations of the Study

This study was delimitated to the causes of problem between Secretaries and Bosses in industries owned by the Government and to enable management to formulate a policy towards conflicts resolution in industries.

Definition of terms

  1. Secretary – Is an employee in an office, who deals with correspondence, keeps records and makes management and appointments for a particular member of the staff.
  2. Boss – A boss is a person who is the head of a company, not merely in change of subordinate workers but in charge of all lower level manager and supervisors, sometimes called middle management.
  3. Establishment – As a place where a business is carried on.
  4. Industry – An industry is a group of companies that manufacture products and services which are closely related to each other.
  5. Organization – Is a social unit of people that is structed and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals.
  6. Conflicts – refers to some form of friction, disagreement or discord arising within a group  when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.
  7. Skill – This refers to all activities that require the control of physical movements to be made.
  8. Performance – Secretaries ability to carryout the duties and responsibilities demanded to his/her position.
  9. Source: Oxford Advanced Learners (6th edition)



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