Accounting Project Topics

Factors Affecting the Performance of Secretaries in Public Organizations in Nigeria

Factors Affecting the Performance of Secretaries in Public Organizations in Nigeria

Factors Affecting the Performance of Secretaries in Public Organizations in Nigeria

Chapter One


Overall Objective

The main purpose of this research was to establish the factors affecting performance of secretaries in public organizations.

Specific Objective

The specific purposes of the study were;

  1. To establish the effect of secretary motivation on performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service.
  2. To assess the effect of job design on performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service.
  3. To find out the effect of working conditions on performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service.
  4. To establish the effect of management style on performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service.




This section talks about the theories related to factors affecting staff performance in public organizations. It also gives an empirical literature review, summary and research gap, the conceptual framework as well as operationalization of variables.

Theoretical Literature Review

The following theories will guide this study;

Expectancy theory by Victor Vroom

Vroom’s (1964), as cited by(Parijat & Bagga, 2014)emphasized on the mental process that takes place within an individual regarding change. This theory puts much focus on interest of self in connection with the expected behaviors, rewards as well as organizational set goals. This theory distinguishes effort from general performance as well as its outcome. It perceives behavior as a result of the sub-conscious choice that aims at maximizing pleasure and detesting pain.  Expectancy is introduced, which is basically increasing Effort that will lead to increased results, Instrumentality which isbasically estimating the probability of an individual achievement on their task that will lead to different outcomes of work and finally Valence which is the strength of an employee’s preference for a specific type of reward(Ball). This theory focuses on vital aspects in management which include; performance, reward, effort and finally personal goals. It provides a sort of quantitative formula to finding out the motivation of employees (Parijat & Bagga, 2014). For performances to be enhanced, managers ought to come up with systems where reward and performance work together. They also sought to make sure that reward offered is deserved by the one receiving it. Managers should engage employees in training to improve the capabilities of their employees and also the belief that that hard work yields good performance(Ball). Hence its relevance to this study.

Equity theory by Lawler and Adams

This theory was proposed by Adams (1956), whereby he wanted to know how employees would react when subjected to fair or unfair treatment as compared to other employees. According to this theory, employees that are treated unjustly compared to others will bring about a state of tension that may lead them to minimize their effort at work or even quit their jobs. This theory tries to show the outcome of employees that believe in being treated justly at their place of work. It indicates the importance of justice and fairness at the workplace such as employees having the feeling of control over their future with their employees. This is because an unfair system that is full of victimization, unpredictability undermines the employee belief that effort will result in a negative outcome. They should be able to see the importance of acting with all modesty towards their subordinates, and also how equity may come in handy in different situations and its effect to the organization as a result of employee reactions(Al-Zawahreh & Al-Madi). This theory is very much relevant to this study in that it points out some of the reasons as to why secretaries may decide to underperform at their work stations.





This section gives a detail of the research methodology that will be used in carrying out this study.

Research Design

According to Kothari and Garg (2014), research design is an arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure (Kothari & Garg, 2014). Descriptive research design will be used.  Nigeria Institute of Management (2009) indicates that this kind of study is concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or of a group. The results from descriptive research can help a researcher to capture interesting naturally occurring behavior (Nigeria Institute of Management, 2009). Case study will be used in this research.

Target population

This is basically the entire group of specimens to which a researcher is interested in deriving a conclusion from them. It is basically a theoretical population that may or may not be as accurate. In this study, the staff of Postal Nigerian Postal Service that happen to be 3500 staff across all levels of management spread across all branches countrywide were the target population and is illustrated bellow.




This section provides the findings of the study and detailed discussion of the research using explanations, tables, graphs and charts where applicable. The limitations of the study will be discussed as well.

Presentation of Research findings

Response rate

Out of the 350 questionnaires that were given, 250 questionnaires were properly answered and returned which was 71.4% of the total questionnaires, while 100 questionnaires were either not returned or not correctly filled which was 28.6% of the total questionnaires. Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) aid that 50% of a sample data is good enough to carry on with the research so, 71% was quite good enough for the researcher to continue with the analysis of the data. The information on the response rate is illustrated in Figure 4.1 and Table 4.1.




This section gives a summary of the findings of the previous chapter, conclusion based on the findings, recommendations and later suggestions for further research.

Summary of the findings

This study intended to find factors that affect the performance of secretaries working at Postal Nigerian Postal Service. Secretary motivation, Job Design, Management style and Working conditions were the specific objectives for this study. The target population in this study was 3500 employees while the sample size was 350 employees based at the organizations headquarter. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires to the respondents. Out of the 350, questionnaire, 250 (70%) of them were well-answered and fit for analysis. The findings were quantitatively presented by the use of tables, graphs and chart.

 How does secretary motivation affect performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service?

Respondents were asked to indicate whether secretary motivation affects performance of secretaries at Postal Nigerian Postal Service.  92% of the total respondents indicated that it indeed affects performance of secretaries. This is a clear indication that there is a positive relation between performance of secretaries and secretary motivation which is agreement with the previously done researches who also concluded the same. Motivation in an organization enhances efficiency and also helped employees meet their personal needs as well as attaining the goals of the organization and enabling them have a good relationship with themselves in the organization.

 What is the effect of job design on performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service?

Respondents were to indicated their thought on whether job design affects the performance of secretaries. 67.2% indicated that it actually affects performance of secretaries. This was actually in line with previously done researches that also indicated that there was a positive relation between performance of secretaries and job design. Different employees had different goals to achieve in an organizational setting. There are those desire to flourish through challenging work, those that may want to be given the chance to present their innovations to the organization, and those that are very much okay with routine. The nature of work of an individual is dependent on the personality of an individual, and once these needs are met, productivity would be achieved.

 In what way does management style affect performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service?

Respondents were also asked to indicate whether management style had a positive relation with performance of secretaries.  95.5% of the respondents agreed that it indeed affects performance of secretaries. This is in line with the previous researchers who also concluded that there was a positive relation between management style and performance of secretaries. A balance in management styles is very much important for organizations in order to achieve better performance for employees as well as a competitive advantage. However, from the research also showed that participative management style had a more positive relation to performance of secretaries compared to other styles of management.

To what extent does working conditions affect performance of secretaries in Postal Nigerian Postal Service?

61.1% of the respondents indicated that working conditions affect performance of secretaries. This was in agreement with the previous researchers who indicated that there was a positive relationship between management style and performance of secretaries. Companies should improve the working conditions of an organization to enhance staff performance. Such positive attributes to include; a good emotional climate as well as an ample working environment for the employees.


From the above study, it is quite obvious that secretary motivation and performance of secretaries have a certain relation. Majority of the employees find it important that their superiors recognize them for a job well done. Most of the employees are not satisfied with their reward system. This could be because the management could be using rewards that were not applicable to everyone. Majority of them indicated that they were not motivated by the challenges faced by their jobs. Each and every individual is motivated differently and this could be the reason for this. There are those that prefer a routine job and there are those that prefer one that requires a lot of skill and effort to be put to it.

Job design is also seen to have a positive relation with performance of secretaries. Most of the employees’ jobs require high skills, and they are not routine as well. Their jobs are self-explanatory and they also give them the chance to arrange themselves. Also, employees are able to define their jobs.

The style of management has a positive relation with performance of secretaries. The organization has a clear division of responsibilities and their superiors motivate them to perform better with their clear information and direction. However, most of the employees are not engaged in the decision-making process and they are not encouraged to be innovative by the management. The management also does not practice proper ethics in their internal dealings within the organization.

Working conditions definitely has a certain relation with the performance of secretaries. The environment in the organization is conducive enough and catalyzes the performance of secretaries in the organization. There are no much cases of bullying or harassment of any sort. However, the culture in the organization was not supportive emotionally.

Most of the employees understand the procedures and policies of the organization. They are always in touch with their superiors and work well with their colleagues. However, majority of the employees do not take part in projects that benefiting the organization neither do they take part in solving problems in the organization.


The following recommendations are made in light of this study;

Postal Nigerian Postal Service motivates its employees through benefits. However, the management should look for ways to impress each and every secretary because each secretary is different. The employees also complained of delayed salaries. The management should see to it that they have a payment plan that would cater for employee salaries for a longer duration of time to curb the issue of delayed salaries.

Managers at Postal Nigerian Postal Service should try and engage their employees in decision making. Employees are also brilliant and the fact that they are on the ground, they may have ideas that may take the organization to greater levels.

The organization has too many departments that are repetitive. The management should see to it that some departments are merged to also reduce the number of employees as well.

The organization has very many old people working. This may be the main cause of their poor performance. From the research, employees that are over 55 years are way more than those below 25 years. The organization should organize an early retirement plan for the old employees and employ young and fresh blood who may be able to pump in new ideas to the organization.


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