Public and Private organizations needs information to function properly and adequate record management needs to be maintained for proper decision making. Tedesco and Robert (2006) defined record management as the application of scientific control for creating, processing, filling, maintaining, protecting and disposing of an organization’s records so that they can be found when needed within the shortest period of time and at the lowest cost.
Record management originates from the early men who wrote on stores and walls in cases for the purpose of future references. This information was written in form of drawing and writing of languages on walls. As time went on, slates were discovered and information was written and stored on them.
Subsequently, there came the use of papers which made the keeping and transfer of information easier, from here, files were being created to guarantee the easy classification of papers. In the early 20th century, filing equipment such as boxes, cabinets, bookshelves, trolleys, filing trays, racks and many others kept coming up. These were all invented at different times as long as they were seen to be relevant for the classification of different kinds of information.
A revolutionary turn came up which brought about micro filming machines which are used to film documents in order to reduce the bulk of papers and files present in the cabinet and to save space. With the help of dynamism in 1981, IBM introduced its personal computers (PC) for use in homes, offices and schools. Prior to that time, there had been several Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS), compactable personal computers that run on Disk Operating System (DOS). One of the numerous uses of computers is to store information in order to allow for easy retrieval of them.
An office being a place where information is being processed in the course of realizing set goals in a general environment where record management can be found, given that, of the presence of information there will be no record management.
This is supported in Denver’s (2002) definition which defines the term office as a channel by which information flows in, out of and around the organization. The presence of information calls for the need for record management.
Every organization large or small deals with information, this calls for the need of record management especially large organizations which need various means of record management for proper storage of documents.
Esogua (2000) defines record management as a system that tracks the life cycle of each record. This means knowing when a record is created, what function it serves, how long it is considered useful the office that created it, what the parameters are for maintaining it and for how long, and what legal authority enables it eventually to be destroyed and when, if at all.
Presently, the modern office has the responsibility of managing different forms of records such as the agreements, letters, invoice and many other varieties of documents involved in the running of an organization. Proper management of these documents is needed for the smooth running of the organization.
It has been observed that these days that organization are busy enjoying the storage of their documents in the hard disks but are neglecting the proper filing and keeping documents such as receipts, agreements and many other signed documents which needs to be given proper attention. Although this system of filing (manual) is difficult that notwithstanding, proper equipment needs to be made available for proper documentation of signed documents as such storing and retrieval will be made easy, since such records determine the position and direction of an organization in the future. In order to ensure for good management of records, it should be ensured that no record is wrongly documented.
1.1 Objectives of the Essay
The objectives of the essay are seen below:
- To compare manual filing with electronic filing system
- To investigate the need for effective management of records.
- To find out the effects of improper record management.
- To determine how the office professional can ensure good record management.
1.2 Significance of the Essay
It is believed that at the end of the exercise, the essay will be of the following category of people and organizations since they deal directly with records:
- The Secretary/File Manager: The work would be of significance to office professionals, especially those practicing because they deal with incoming and outgoing of documents.
- Government and Corporate Organizations: The work would help the government and corporate organizations in the area of decision making. In an organization where record is managed properly, decisions can be taken promptly which can foster the growth of the organization or country.
- Institutions of Learning: The work would enable various institutions to focus more on training undergraduates on how to maintain good filing system outside of the automated system. This will go a long way in producing competent and productive graduate of office technology and management who can manage records properly even in an automated office environment.
1.3 Scope of the Essay
Due to the broad nature of the topic under study. The work intends to limit its study to: the concept of record management and how it can ensure good record management.
1.4 Limitations of the Essay
- Time Constraint: Due to the limited timeframe stipulated for the completion of this study, the quality of the study is lightly affected as vital information centres could not be reached.
- Financial Constraint: Due to the limited adequate fund, student fending for himself, in support of the essay to a desirable need.
- Textbook/Electronic Materials: The non-availability of relevant textbooks constitute a major challenge to the researcher.