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1.1 Background to the Study

In many businesses, the secretary is the one who keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Their job has many responsibilities that all contribute to the organization’s success. This paper will examine the numerous secretarial duties, the value of secretaries to businesses, and how their function has changed with the introduction of new technologies.

Job frustration has been of great concern to employees and other stakeholders of organizations. Job frustration researchers agree that frustration is a serious problem in many organizations (Cooper and Cartwright, 1994; Varca, 1999; Ornelas and Kleiner 2003). The cost of job frustration is very high in many organizations in recent times. For instance, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reports that inefficiencies arising from job may cost up to 10 perce GNP (Midgley, 1996).

Job frustration is defined as the perception of a discrepancy between environmental demands (stressors) and individual capacities to fill these demands (Topper, 2007; Vermut and Steensma, 2005; Ornels and Kleiner, 2003; Varca, 1999). Christo and Pienaar (2006) for example, argued that the causes of job frustration include perceived loss of job, and security, sitting for long periods of time or heavy lifting, lack of safety, complexity of repetitiveness and lack of autonomy in the job.

In addition, job frustration is caused by lack of resources and equipment; work schedules (such as working late or overtime and organizational climate are considered as contributors to employees frustration. Job frustration often shows high dissatisfaction among the employees, job mobility, burnout, poor work performance and less effective interpersonal relations at work (Manshor, Rodrigue, and Chong, 2003). Johnson (2001) similarly argued that interventions like identifying or determining the signs of frustration, identifying the possible causes for the signs and developing possible proposed solutions for each signs are required.

Frustration is a condition of physical and psychological mental disorder which occurs in a situation of pressure, when resources are unable to fulfill the demand of an individual. Most of time of our lives spent at work, job frustration is widely experienced and so pervasive, that it’s been found to effect people in every sector. Employees’ in banking sector spend most of their time at work, that’s why they are directly targeted by frustration; due to this their productivity at workplace decreases greatly. Now the days, frustration is considered as an important factor, which is rapidly increasing the absenteeism rate of employers and employees (Dean, 2002).

This happens more in the public sector, where 50 percent of employers reported frustration related absence. The main causes of frustration are work overloads, management styles, non-work factors such as relationships with family and workplace associates. In public sector, job security is considered more common cause of frustration in recent years. Cost on absence in public sector due to frustration is reported more than the cost incurred in the private sector. In public sector cost reported due to frustration is 800 pound per employee a year, while in private sector; it is reported 446 pound per employee per year (Miller & Phipps, 2011).

Over a few years, job frustration is considered to be a worldwide problem and increasing steadily in the U.S. and other nations where the industry is growing rapidly. Poor salary packages, long working hours, mistreatment of supervisors with employees, are the major causes of creating frustration in employees. Job frustration produces large number of undesirable effects for both individual and organization. The incidents of hyper tension and heart attacks are the severe problems related to frustration. India, Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey and other eastern European countries are the emerging countries in which frustration is rapidly growing. Job frustration affects not only the employees’ but also the organizations in the monetary and non-monetary costs. These costs are used to recover the work and health related injuries. Monetary cost is used to recover the health of employees and lower productivity and absenteeism of employees’ is recovered by non-monetary costs (Michac, 1997)

During the life span of an individual, job period is very important because it is directly linked with the frustration. In those organizations where employees are not treated accordingly least satisfaction and high frustration level are common observations. Frustration is very harmful for human body, it increases blood pressure, sugar, suppression of immune system, decreased digestive system activity and reduced urine output. Stressful employees caught serious diseases that result in low productivity (Michac, 1997)

Frustration can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her (Moorhead and Griffen, 1998). That is tension from extra-ordinary demands on an individual.  It is noted that, frustration is not necessarily bad; it is an opportunity when it offers potential gain. But whatever its nature, it usually begins when individuals are placed in a work environment that is incompatible with their work style and or temperament. It becomes aggravated when individuals find out that they have or can exercise little control over it. (Miller, 2011).

Many organizations in the world are witnessing an alarming increase of the negative effects of frustration on employee’s productivity. Typical examples are organizations in America, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, East and Central Africa, West Africa and in other parts of the world. The American Academy of family Physicians reported that, about two-thirds of the visits to family physicians are the results of frustration-related symptoms” (Henry and Evans 2008).

Michac (1997) specified causes of frustration as follows: poor time management, unclear job descriptions, feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, inability to get things done, lack of communication, bad personal relationships, quality and complexity of tasks. In the same breadth, Dean (2002) viewed frustration-related illnesses as the leading cause for low productivity levels in the workplace. Immense pressure at work has led to frustration, which made it the number one factor causing illness.

Michac (1997) outlined reasons for low productivity as follows; poor training in the company, machine break downs, non-established performance standards, lack of planning and motivation, change, poor atmosphere and environment, inadequate communication at many levels, non-identification with company goals. In Nigeria, several nationwide surveys have indicated that, about 58% of the workforce in organizations suffers from frustration related problems (salami 2015). This means that frustration can be a killer of many organizations in Nigeria of which Fidelity Guaranteed is no exception.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Organizations end up saddling employees with overload of work in order to meet deadline and this might have psychological and physical effects on the employees which may result in something contrary to what these organizations want to achieve. Although organizations are paying more attention than in the past to the consequences of the trauma their employees go through when they place extra-ordinary demands on them, there is still more room for improvement. Again to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and to be able to fund the acquisition of modern equipment meant efficient service provision and optimal employment of resources.

Job frustration is commonly acknowledged to be a critical issue for managers of organizations as occupational stressors tend to contribute to organizational inefficiency, employees are under a great deal of frustration related to a variety of occupational stressors. Job stressors contribute to organizational inefficiency, high staff turnover, absenteeism due to sickness, decreased quality, and quantity of practice, increased costs of health care, and decreased job satisfaction. One of the organizational outcomes that were affected by job frustration is employee’s performance. Job frustration is a mental and physical condition, which affects an individual’s productivity, effectiveness, personal health and quality of work. Job frustration victims experience lowered quality of work life and performance. The harmful and costly consequences of frustration demonstrate the need for strategies to limit stressors within the organization. Organization that does not adopt strategies to alleviate frustration may find their employees looking elsewhere for better opportunities. The impact of frustration from overwork, long hours at work and work intensification has had major and often devastating effect on organizations.


The current turbulent environment in which some workers conduct their work requires that organizations examine their practices. Working in the Nigerian banking industry is an inherently stressful profession with long working hours, heavy workloads, difficult customers and conflicting demands. The physical and psychology demands of workers at the bank make them more vulnerable to high levels of frustration. The effects of frustration are evidenced as increased errors in data entry, high medical bills, lateness to work, low productivity and increased sick leaves.

Despite the extremely negative effects of job frustration on the human body and work performance, many organizations, with First Bank not being an exception has not put in any concrete measures to address these frustration-related conditions that negatively affect productivity. Furthermore, there has not been a conscious establishment of a linkage between job frustration and its negative effect on productivity. It is in the light of these problems that this research seeks to bring to the fore the implication of job frustration on the overall performance of institutions.

1.3      Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to examine the causes and effect of frustration on Nigerian secretaries, while specific objective of the study include:

  1. To examine the extent to which time pressure affect the rate at which customer are attended to.
  2. To ascertain how work overload of employee affect customers satisfaction
  • To examine the effect long work hours on employees productivity


1.4      Relevant Research Questions


The following research question were formulated for this study, they are as follows

  1. What extent does time pressure affect the rate at which customer are attended to?
  2. Does work overload of employee affect customer satisfaction?
  • How do long work hours affect employee’s productivity?

1.5      Relevant Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis One

H0: Time pressure has no effect on rate at which customer are attended

H1: Time pressure has effect on rate at which customer are attended

Hypothesis Two

H0: Work overload of employee has no significant effect on customer satisfaction

H1: Work overload of employee has significant effect on customer satisfaction


Hypothesis Three

H0: Long work hours has no effect on employee’s productivity

H1: Long work hours has effect on employee’s productivity

1.6      Significance of the Study  

The purpose of the study was to ascertain the  causes and effect of frustration on Nigerian secretaries.

Frustration Management is important to healthy functioning of organizations as it seeks to increase productivity since one can clearly focus on tasks, better memory, improved immune system and better blood pressure. In Nigeria, job frustration is not being given the attention it deserves and so very little has been done as far as assessing the role of frustration on job performance within organizations. It is in the light of this that this study is deemed important, as it will:

Create awareness among managers on the need to provide the needed platform to help staff deal with their frustrationes.

The researcher believes that this study was very important and would go a long way to provide for organizations, most especially those in the service sector on the need to ensure the effective management of frustration for their employees. The study will also add to existing store of knowledge. Thus, the findings will add to studies that have been done, so that people in other part of the country can also appreciate the problem. It will also provide suggestions on how to reduce the effects of frustration on output.

Again, it will be a source for further research and of relevance to stakeholders.  The study has the potential to stimulate, among scholars and customers, an interest in the study of frustration among bank workers in Nigeria.

1.7      Scope of the Study

The study examines effects of job frustration on the performance of bankers in Nigeria. The study focused on First Bank, Enugu branch, Enugu.

Organisation Of The Study

The entire study is divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one gives a general introduction about the study, while chapter two focuses on some theoretical frameworks and reviews of related literature about the subject. The chapter three presents the methodology used in the data collection. Chapter four analyses, summarizes and presents the data for the study. The final chapter provides a summary of findings, conclusion and makes recommendation for the solution of the problem studied.

1.8      Definitions of Terms

Secretary – A person employed by an individual or in an office to assist with correspondence, make appointments, and carry out administrative tasks.

Productivity- A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs.

Frustration- frustration is a common emotional response to opposition, related to anger, annoyance and disappointment.

Psychological reaction- an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

Pressure- continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it.

Absenteeism- the practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason

Feelings- An emotional state or reaction.

Work Overload-The amount of work assigned to or expected from a worker in a specified time period


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