Hitachi: Better Decisions Through Descriptive Research and Data Collection
Hitachi Automotive Products, Los Angeles (HAPLA) is a major manufacturer of remanufactured (remanned) alternators, starters, distributors, electronic control units, mass airflow sensors and linear flow valves. HAPLA, based out of Torrance, California, ships the remanned products to the Big 3 automotive manufacturers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler), as well as Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda as an aftermarket and OE supplier.
Descriptive Research and Data Collection
Descriptive research is the analysis method that learns the "who, what, when, where, and how of a topic." (Cooper, 2002). Descriptive research methods also involve the observation, analysis and description of data variables that are distributed throughout a population as they are gathered during data collection techniques (Cashwell, n.d.). Descriptive research is not designed to determine what causes the differences in variables, only the distinction between the variable data.
Data collection techniques may include observational research, survey research, case studies and archival research.
These collection techniques are geared to gathering the different data required to answer a hypothesis in which we question or state the size, form, distribution, or existence or a variable (Cooper, 2002). Under observational research design, the researcher collects data through various methods, including mechanical, human, electronic or electrical means (Joppe, Research). Survey research methods use the collection of data through the selection of a representative sample of the population under study (Joppe). Case studies involve the comparison of one situation against another to determine relationships among circumstances, events, individuals, processes, and decisions made during the study (Joppe). Finally, archival research involves the data mining, or gathering, or facts and statistics through past collections of data or studies that have been conducted.
Hitachi Descriptive Research Situation
One of the major components of the ISO-9002:1994 Quality Management System used at HAPLA is the use...