Business Research Methods Part III
University of Phoenix
Applied Business Research and Statistics 561
March 29, 2010
Business Research Methods Part III
Team C’s Business Research Methods Part I analysis determined a problem within Toyota Motor Corporation’s recent recalls that posed a potential for decreased customer satisfaction, which has the additional potential for impacting sales. Part II proposed a sample design and appropriate collection methods, a sample survey, a presentation, and classification of findings. In Part III, the final piece of this essay, the statistical analysis from Part II will be discussed as well as the potential challenges and validity of the original research question and the data analysis that followed. Finally, the findings are presented in the proper response type, and classified in order of power in appendix A. The research question Team C proposed is “Is there a statistically significant relationship between customer satisfaction and Toyota sales in the U.S.?” Statistical Analysis
The previous data in Part II concluded that in Toyota’s 2009 fiscal year, the company sold 2.21 million units. Although the 2010 fiscal year is not yet complete, the company has sold 1,567,006 units as of the end of February 2010. After review of the monthly sales totals, it is reasonable to project that the March sales totals will not be sufficient to match the sales totals of fiscal year 2009, which was down 746 thousand units from the previous year.
Although data is not yet available for the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index, the 2009 customer satisfaction rating for Toyota was 86. The 2008 customer satisfaction rating was also 86, up from 84 the previous year. Although there is a decline in sales during the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, the customer satisfaction rating has held firm in the corresponding years. However, recent problems with recalls may have yet to be discovered in this index as it is a yearly average and 2010 information to date is not available. As the 2008 timeframe is nearly two years old, the timeline for the trend line for customer satisfaction has changed dramatically within the last 12 months because of increased recalls, and Toyota’s acknowledgement of prior knowledge of events that led to the recalls. As such, there is a high potential for anomaly in the customer satisfaction results. Potential Challenges to Validity and Reliability
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports three recalls related to safety issues with various Toyota models in recent months. “Currently, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred.” Furthermore, the NHTSA has opened a formal investigation into the 2010 Toyota Prius (NHTSA, 2010). A reports by USA Today indicates that two million vehicles will be affected by the recalls (Healey & Carty, 2010). A spike in recalls by Toyota has the potential to cause an anomaly in the survey results. Such an anomaly within the last 12 months can dramatically skew customer satisfaction survey results over such a short time frame. A report by the Los Angeles Times alleges that despite repairs conducted through the recalls, vehicles continue to have safety related issues (Bensinger & Vartabedian, 2010). Although recalls within the automotive industry are not uncommon, perceptions of customer satisfaction may be affected by the growth in recalls by Toyota. Additionally, the Customer Satisfaction Index rating is done on a yearly basis while sales figures are reported within a fiscal year. This discrepancy in reported data indicates that the potential may exist for misrepresentation in the correlation between sales and customer satisfaction in the years in question.
Challenge Minimization Techniques in Research
“Good research generates dependable data that are...