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BCOE-144: Office Management and Secretarial Practice

BCOE-144: Office Management and Secretarial Practice

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BCOE-144 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Office Management and Secretarial Practice, you have come to the right place. BCOE-144 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BCOMG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BCOE-144/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BCOE-144

Assignment Name: Office Management and Secretarial Practice

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Maximum Marks: 100

Note: Attempt all the questions.


Section – A


Q-1 What is office management? What are the objectives of office management? (10)

Ans) "Office management is the branch of management concerned with the services of obtaining, documenting, and analysing information for planning and communicating, through which a business's management secures its assets, advances its affairs, and achieves its objectives." - England's Institute of Administrative Management


The following are the goals of office management:


Organizational Goals Accomplishment: Every company has a set of goals and objectives that it strives to achieve throughout time. Organizations have both long and short-term objectives. All of the organization's functional areas/ departments draw their departmental goals from long-term organisational goals and set mid- to short-term goals in terms of actions to be carried out. Office management aids in the determination of the office's goals and objectives in order to assist the company in achieving its long-term objectives.


Optimal utilisation of office resources: Optimal utilisation of office resources, both human and material, is one of the major goals of office management. The term "optimum utilisation" refers to a combination of efficiency and effectiveness. It entails doing the right things as well as the right things.


Ensure a smooth flow of work in the office: Another goal of office management is to ensure a smooth flow of work in the office. This entails overseeing the administrative employees to ensure that they are carrying out their responsibilities properly.


Another major goal of office management is to ensure that there is effective communication flow. It encompasses all sorts of information flows in the office, including horizontal, vertical, diagonal, written, verbal, upward, downward, formal, and informal information flows.


Human resource development: One of the most important goals of office administration is to develop human resources. Human resources development is critical since they are the only resource capable of thinking and have a significant impact on how other resources are used. The goals of office administration in this regard are to provide adequate labour supply, employee training, remuneration, evaluation, incentive, and supervision, among other things.


Coordination: It is critical to coordinate these many administrative tasks in order to maintain a smooth office flow. Office management guarantees that there are no conflicts between and within teams. The rest of the organization's activities and tasks are also unaffected by office management.


Customer and supplier relations: It is the goal of office management to maintain good working relationships with customers and suppliers. Customers bring money into the company, and customer service employees should treat them with respect.


Better office environment: Office management plays a key part in making the workplace a more pleasant place to work. Office management aids in the implementation of workplace safety measures such as fire extinguishers. It assists in ensuring that company cars are properly maintained, in functioning order, and have the necessary legal documentation.


Q-2 What are the duties of an office manager in relation to top management and subordinates? Elucidate. (10)

Ans) The duties of an office manager in relation to top management and subordinates are:

  1. Maintaining office services: Because the office manager is responsible for the proper operation of the office, he must maintain various office services.

  2. supplying previous references: The Office Manager is responsible for defining and establishing various procedures for the effective keeping of office records. Defining procedures for retaining, protecting, retrieving, transferring, and disposing of office records is one of these procedures.

  3. Maintaining office efficiency: It is the Office Manager's responsibility to develop and implement numerous office systems such as office layout, material, supplies, and equipment acquisition, among others. Office operations can be made more efficient with good planning and execution.

  4. Office policies: Office managers are in charge of developing and implementing policies. For various office operations, they set standards and procedures.

  5. Employee scheduling and assignment: One of the office manager's responsibilities is to schedule and allocate staff in order to ensure that office operations are carried out efficiently. It is the manager's responsibility to distribute duties to subordinate staff and to keep track of the job results.

  6. Providing pertinent information to management: The office manager is responsible for maintaining the organization's numerous databases. In addition, he or she should summarise and recognise trends in the data obtained from these databases on a regular basis for use in meetings.

  7. Maintaining/ensuring office continuity: In order to ensure the continuity of any company, it is necessary to ensure a consistent supply of workers through human resource recruitment, selection, orientation, and training.

  8. Keeping/motivating office employees: The office manager oversees, supervises, and evaluates the performance of the administrative staff under his or her supervision. Office managers use fair evaluation and promotion procedures to train, counsel, discipline, and motivate their employees.

  9. Updating oneself: It is the responsibility of the office manager to update and expand his or her professional and technical knowledge by attending educational courses in order to be relevant and up to date in the changing work environment.

  10. Managing office budgets: The office manager assists senior management in meeting financial goals. They do this by preparing an annual budget, scheduling spending, analysing discrepancies in standards and actual data, and initiating corrective actions based on the differences.

  11. Managing team efforts: It is the office manager's responsibility to communicate with various stakeholders in the business, such as employees, suppliers, and clients, in order to achieve synergistic results.


Q-3 What is meant by standardization of stationery? Why is it important? (10)

Ans) Standardization of stationery entails establishing uniform quality specifications for office stationery items that are frequently used by diverse departments. The standards must be updated on a regular basis to keep up with changing job and technological demands.


Standardization of  stationery is important due to following reasons:

  1. It leads to further savings because we can buy in bulk at lower prices thanks to numerous trade discounts offered by businesses.

  2. Because stationery standards are constant, standardisation makes it easier to keep track of what was issued and what was not.

  3. Monitoring of stationery waste is possible because universal standards for its use may be set.


Initially, several things from various brands should be purchased in order to establish which brand is better acceptable in the end. Market trends must be analysed on a regular basis by the Office Manager in order to keep up with newly available stationery items and to maintain the office's stationery specifications.


Q-4 Who is a secretary? Point out the importance of secretaries in the business world. Outline the functions of a secretary as an office executive. (10)

Ans) "One whose duty it is to write for another; specifically one who is employed to conduct correspondence, to keep record, and to transact various other businesses, for L another person or for a society, company, or public body," according to the Oxford Dictionary.


Importance of Secretaries in the Business World

The nature and functions of a secretary vary depending on the organisation to which he is assigned. He works mostly behind the scenes, but that in no way diminishes the value of his office. A secretary is today an essential component of any organisation, whether commercial, social, or political. In certain cases, he has legal status as a corporate secretary or a Secretary of a Government Department, while in others, he is hired to help the employer with regular tasks so that he can focus on more essential topics. However, the secretary is always the most trustworthy member of the institution or company for whom he or she works.


Functions of Secretary as an Office Executive

  1. In his position, the secretary is responsible for organising and administering the office's day-to-day operations.

  2. This entails organising, overseeing, coordinating, and controlling secretarial and clerical duties, such as correspondence, record keeping, and bookkeeping, among other things.

  3. Convening meetings by issuing notice, making appropriate arrangements for the meetings to be held, keeping a record of the activities during the meeting, and so on are examples of secretarial work that needs to be monitored and coordinated.

  4. As the administrative head of the office, a secretary is responsible for all matters concerning the office employees, including recruiting and selection, assignment of work, performance monitoring, and maintaining office discipline.

Q-5 Define the term 'Motion'. Describe the procedure for moving a motion. (10)

Ans) A motion is a suggestion or proposal for any item of business that is brought forward for discussion and resolution at a meeting. To put it another way, a motion can be thought of as a draught resolution that members can change or amend before it is submitted to a vote.


Procedure for Moving a Motion

The chairman requests the mover to formally move his motion if a notice of motion has already been delivered. In the absence of notice, the motion's proposer may rise and, with the chairman's consent, formally introduce the proposal. The motion must be seconded immediately if the bye-laws require it. Otherwise, the chairman may allow the motion's mover to speak for a few moments before asking for a second. Further discussion on the motion is permitted if it is seconded. If this is not the case, the motion is grounded.


The proposal is placed to a vote after proper discussion, including my comments on amendments, and members can vote for or against it, or remain neutral. The chairman determines the outcome by counting the votes and declaring it. If the motion is approved, it becomes the meeting's resolution. It should be emphasised that if the chairman believes that an unscrupulous group is attempting to promote a motion through illicit means, or if the motion is unrelated to the motion's business, the motion may be ruled out. However, he should use this power with caution and without bias or prejudice toward any of the members.



Section – B


Q.6 Enumerate the key elements of office organization. (6)

Ans) The key elements of office organization are 

1) Work specialisation: This is the division of work activities into distinct job responsibilities.

2) Chain of command: A chain of command is a continuous line of authority that runs from the top to the bottom of an organisation. It clarifies the reporting structure.

3) Departmentalization: This is the method for arranging jobs into departments.

4) Span of control: This refers to the quantity of employees that a manager can effectively and efficiently supervise.

5) Centralization and decentralisation: These terms refer to the degree of decision-making authority dispersion across various levels of an organisation.

6) Formalization: This refers to the degree to which jobs are standardised and organisational rules and procedures are followed.


Q.7 Describe the qualities to be possessed by a good office manager. (6)

Ans) The qualities to be possessed by a good office manager are:

  1. Management training: In addition to some essential basic qualifications, a qualified office manager should have some management training.

  2. A strong communicator is required of the office manager. He or she should be able to communicate well both verbally and in writing.

  3. Managers are required to organise meetings on a regular basis, so he or she must be an excellent organiser.

  4. Good trainer: Because the office manager is responsible for supervising and controlling the work of subordinates, he or she must be an excellent trainer.

  5. Tactful: The office manager may encounter challenging situations at work. As a result, he must be able to handle such a circumstance deftly.

  6. Pleasant demeanour: In order to make a good impression in the office, he or she should have a nice appearance.

  7. Sincerity: The office manager must carry out his responsibilities with sincerity. He or she should have a sense of accountability, be disciplined, and on time.

  8. Leadership: The office manager must lead from the front. Her or his leadership must be able to inspire followers, instil confidence in them, and instil team spirit in them.

  9. Ability to delegate.

  10. Self-assurance and self-control: It's critical for an office manager to stay calm and collected in stressful situations.

  11. Adaptability.

  12. Human nature is understood.

Q.8 What are the common types of forms used in a business organization? (6)

Ans) The common types of forms used in a business organization are:


  1. Feedback Forms, Enquiry Forms, Education Loan Forms, Purchase Order Forms, Accounting Forms, and so on are examples of functional forms.

  2. Sale invoices, vouchers, bills, delivery notes, and other forms are used in business transactions.

  3. Organizational Forms: Forms used within the organisation, such as a leave application form, a tour advance form, a medical reimbursement form, a performance appraisal form, a requisition slip for office supplies, and so on.

  4. E Forms: E Forms are electronic forms that may be filled out online.

  5. Forms on paper: Forms on paper are filled out by hand or on typewriters.

  6. A single copy form is a resource in and of itself for supplying information. For example, filling out an application form for a job.

  7. Multiple Copy Form: This form is utilised when two or more copies of the identical filled-in information are required by separate departments for appropriate action. For example, a sale invoice or a delivery note.

  8. Continuous Paper Forms: These are fan-folded forms with perforations that are fed and removed automatically. Continuous paper forms are used to generate invoices, cash receipts, and other documents on a regular basis.


Q.9 Enlist different stationery items generally used in an office. (6)

Ans) The different stationery items generally used in an office are:


  1. Papers: Despite the fact that we are in a paperless world, paper is still used to some level in every office. In general, an office need paper for conducting correspondence and taking notes. Letterheads, photocopier paper, registers, printed invoices, notepads, and other office supplies are commonly utilised in every business.

  2. Pens, pencils, permanent markers, sketch pens, printer cartridges, and other writing equipment are used by practically everyone in the office. For record administration, an office requires various types of files such as box files, lever arch files, and folders such as presentation holders, magazine holders, document binders, and so on.

  3. Desk diaries are frequently used to jot down critical notes, plan work schedules, and keep track of significant dates.

  4. Every official's office table has a desk calendar on it for convenient reference.

  5. Calculators: In the office, calculators are used to conduct quick and accurate calculations.

  6. For ordinary office work, pen drives, scissors, stapler, paper weight, scale, glue, sticky slip, pen holder, paper tray, paper clip, awl pin, stamp pad, highlighter, white board marker, letter opener, and other stationery items are usually used.


Q.10 “Budget leads to a centralized control on many decentralized activities”. Comment. (6)

Ans) Budgetary controls ensure that a company's profits are maximised. This, above all, necessitates effective planning and coordination of many operations, as well as tight control over capital and revenue expenditures. The work of several divisions and sectors of every company is coordinated. Different departments' budgets have an impact on one another. As a result of budgetary controls, many executives and subordinates must work together. It results in concentrated control over a large number of decentralised operations. It promotes collaboration and mutual assistance. The budgeted targets are compared to the actual results in the budgetary control system, and variations or deviations are detected and the causes for them are determined. As a result, this system serves as a tool for monitoring performance by providing targets to all departments and the entire organisation.



Section – C


Q.11 Explain briefly the importance of mail for a business organization. (5)

Ans) The importance of mail for a business organization is as follows:

  1. Facilitates Communication: We can exchange ideas, opinions, and viewpoints with the use of mail between two or more parties.

  2. Create and Maintain Relationships: Mail is essential for maintaining in touch with consumers, clients, and other stakeholders.

  3. Permanent Record: With mail, a record of communication can be kept, which can be utilised for verification purposes at a later date if necessary.

  4. Serve as a Sequence of Events: It allows a business to keep a proper relationship with correspondences made between two parties by serving as a proper trail of events that aids in business strengthening.

  5. Brand Ambassador: In order to build a corporate image, sales promotion mail functions as a spokesperson of the company.


Q.12 How does office management help in ensuring Operational Workflow in offices? (5)

Ans) This entails overseeing the administrative employees to ensure that they are carrying out their responsibilities properly. For instance, the receptionist greets guests, phone calls are answered promptly, phone etiquette is observed, customer service agents are courteous, and mail is handled promptly and accurately. It may also entail supervising cleaning, maintenance, and repair, as well as other vital office activities. Written policies, procedures, and rules, as well as standard office processes, can all aid in achieving functionality. To improve operational workflow, office workers may be sent for training.


Q.13 List the various advantages and limitations of budgets. (5)

Ans) The various advantages of budgets are:

  1. Maximization of profits.

  2. Coordination.

  3. Well defined aims.

  4. Tool of performance measurement.

  5. Reduces cost.

  6. Determining weakness.

  7. Corrective action.

  8. Consciousness.


The various limitations of budgets are:

  1. Expensive.

  2. Uncertain future.

  3. Creates conflicts.

  4. Rigidity.

  5. Depends upon the top management.


Q.14 “Centralization and decentralization are two sides of same coin.” Comment. (5)

Ans) The concept of centralization and decentralisation refers to the spread of decision-making authority among offices. These terms are diametrically opposed. The concentration of decision-making at the upper levels of the workplace is referred to as centralization of authority. It refers to the concentration of power at the top of the corporate ladder.


Decentralization, on the other hand, refers to the distribution of decision-making authority to middle and lower management levels, as well as the extent to which middle and lower-level employees have a say in decision-making or actually make decisions. Giving employees additional decision-making authority empowers them. The terms centralization and decentralisation are used interchangeably. In any office, absolute centralization or decentralisation is neither practical nor feasible. As a result, as the needs of the workplace dictate, managers always seek a sensible blend of both. This blending of centralization and decentralisation has an impact on office organisation structures and differentiates them from one another.

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