Just a sec! A comparative study of the changing role of secretarial staff in Australia and New Zealand

Maguire, Heather J. (1996) Just a sec! A comparative study of the changing role of secretarial staff in Australia and New Zealand. In: 10th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference (ANZAM 1996): Diversity and Change: Challenges for Management into the 21st Century, 4-7 Dec 1996, Wollongong, Australia.

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Abstract

Little progress has been made in Australia and New Zealand towards achieving gender balance in management. One factor that has received little consideration in seeking explanations for this lack of progress is the lack of recognition given to professional secretaries. This paper reports a study of 600 members of professional secretarial associations in Australia and new Zealand. The major purpose of the study was to assess the relevance of the 'ghetto' thesis (Benet, 1972) to this type of work. Also investigated during the study were any possible links between industry type, sector or size of organisation and the status of secretarial work. The study clearly shows that, although secretarial work still displays many of the characteristics of 'ghetto' occupations, professional secretaries are undertaking a large number of management-type tasks and that autonomy levels experienced are very similar to those of management. Industry, sector and organisational size were shown to have little effect on the status of secretarial work indicating that the factors restricting opportunities and rewards for secretarial workers are extra-organisational rather than intra-organisational in nature and based on deeply entrenched perceptions of this highly feminised occupation. A number of theoretical perspectives are investigated to help explain why this group of workers has remained partly ghettoised. Explanation is given of a number of factors limiting organisational progress which are restricted to secretaries rather than affecting female employees in general.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Depositing User: Dr Heather Maguire
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Management and Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2008 05:30
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2013 02:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: secretarial work; ghetto occupations; gender;
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9102 Microeconomics > 910202 Human Capital Issues
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/4464

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