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Strategic direction is continuously germinating as both an academic subject and as a contemplation of direction pattern. No 1 can deny the part of Michael Porter to the development of the subject in the context of the progresss that have taken topographic point since the publication of his seminal workA Competitive StrategyA in 1980. A house ‘s competitory behaviour has become an of import subject for practicians, theoreticians, and policy shapers since so. Among the accounts of houses ‘ behaviour is Michael Porter ‘s theoretical account, there are several alternate new attacks developed, such as the New Industrial Organization and Game Theory and the Resource-Based Perspective. Those attacks may hold some extent of relationships, similarities, and differences relative to Porter ‘s theoretical account. Is Porter ‘s theoretical account still effectual in measuring competitory scheme comparative to those attacks?

Aims of the Research Paper:

The aim of this research paper is to measure the usage of Porter ‘s theoretical account comparison with those attacks. The standards are based on popularity, chiseled construction, feasibleness, lucidity, simpleness and generalization.

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Literature Reappraisal:

Given the importance of competition, many literatures focused on the designation of the most successful competitory schemes that houses prosecute. A celebrated model within this literature, particularly among concern strategians and industrial economic experts, is Porter ‘s theoretical account ( 1980, 1998, and 2004 ) .

Porter proposes that houses can surpass rivals if they pursue any of his three recommended generic competitory schemes. His recommended schemes are “ lower cost ” or “ cost leading, ” “ distinction, ” and “ focal point. ” “ Focus ” can be found in three variants- ” cost focal point, ” “ distinction focal point, ” or “ cost and distinction focal point. ”

Porter ‘s theoretical account of generic competitory schemes is an of import synthesis of Porter ‘s research and learning experience within scheme and industrial economic sciences. From the house ‘s point of position, the most relevant and of import facet of the competitory environment is the industry in which the house competes. Industries are comprised of houses that produce close replacements. However, the houses ‘ competitory environment has a common construction, dwelling of five competitory forces. These forces that are viewed as the determiners of the industry ‘s overall fight and profitableness are:

possible entry of new rivals

strength of competition among existing houses

possible development of replacement merchandises

dickering power of consumers

dickering power of providers

Harmonizing to Porter, it is the joint influence of these forces that determines the strength of competition of each industry, where the strength of each competitory force is industry-specific. Profitableness, considered as the “ rate of return on investing, ” is negatively correlated with the overall strength of these forces. Hence, the greater the strength of these forces that affect houses, the lower the expected profitableness in the industry.

In Porter ‘s research, analysing an industry with regard to these five competitory forces would assist the house place its strengths and failings relative to the existent province of competition. If the house knows the consequence of each competitory force, it can take corresponding defensive or violative actions in order to put itself in a appropriate place against the force per unit area exerted by these five forces. Even though a house defends itself against the competitory forces foremost, house can impact the competitory forces by its ain actions. This position of competition holds that non merely the bing houses in the industry are existent or possible rivals but besides extra rivals may originate from “ drawn-out competition ” clients, providers, replacements, and possible new entrants.

Given this context, houses should prosecute in order to place themselves against the force per unit area of the chief competitory forces and accomplish higher profitableness than the industry ‘s mean. These schemes are presented in the alleged theoretical account of generic competitory schemes ( Porter, 1980 ) . The term “ generic ” would mention to the broadest degree of the strategic attack that the house chooses to prosecute, irrespective of its concern, be it fabricating, service, etc.

The two dimensions in this model are strategic advantage and strategic mark. Strategic or competitory advantage is of two sorts, distinction or lower cost. Strategic mark or competitory range can be in footings of geographic marks, client sections served, and the scope of merchandises. The combination of these two dimensions creates the three chief strategic options: “ distinction ” , “ cost leading ” ( or “ lower cost ” ) , and “ focal point ” , where focal point can be of three sorts, “ cost focal point, ” “ distinction focal point, ” or “ cost and distinction focal point. ”

A cost leading scheme requires a house to go the lowest cost manufacturer of a merchandise or service so that above-average net incomes are earned even though the monetary value charged is non above the industry norm. A distinction scheme involves making a client perceptual experience that a merchandise or services is superior to that of other houses, based on trade name, quality, and public presentation, so that a premium monetary value can be charged to clients. A focal point scheme involves the usage of either a distinction or cost leading scheme in a narrow market section.

While explicating his three chief strategic options, Porter emphasizes that entire committedness and back uping organisational agreements are required to implement the scheme efficaciously. A house must take between a distinction or a cost leading scheme. He besides reinforced that being the lowest cost manufacturer and being genuinely differentiated and commanding a monetary value premium are seldom compatible.

The success of a generic scheme in presenting competitory advantage is dependent on guaranting that the house ‘s value concatenation successfully supports its generic scheme in adding greater value to its merchandises and services than rivals. The value concatenation includes all those activities that contribute to the concluding value of an organisation ‘s merchandise. Value added, or border, is “ the difference between the entire value and corporate cost of executing the value activities ” ( Porter, 1985a ) . Value concatenation analysis is Porter ‘s technique for understanding an organisation ‘s ability to add value through its activities, and their internal and external linkages, and allows directors to place where value is presently added in the system and where there is possible to make farther value in the hereafter by reconfiguration and improved coordination of activities.

The development of the five forces, generic scheme, and value concatenation models was cardinal to the outgrowth of scheme as recognized academic subject and, every bit good as organizing the centrepiece of the competitory placement paradigm, besides provided the major analytical tools of the planning school.

New Industrial Organization and Game Theory

The new industrial organisation attack is closely linked to the constructs of game theory in analysing house ‘s strategic behaviour. The term “ strategic ” in the nomenclature of game theory implies interdependence-firms ‘ behaviour impacting each other ‘s public presentation, such as net incomes. From a game-theoretic position, rivals solve a specified game that has an equilibrium status in the signifier of Nash equilibrium or its polishs ( sub-game flawlessness ) . In the context of house scheme, the demand for this polish is that while the Nash equilibrium specifies equilibrium conditions based on antique ante ratings, some of these conditions do non connote reason ( or sub-game Nash equilibrium ) in ex station state of affairss.

An industry analysis is represented as a simple game in the figure, where a possible entrant, “ Tocopherol ” , and an officeholder, “ I ” , make up one’s mind on their strategic moves. In this game “ E ” decides whether to come in the industry or non and “ I ” decides whether to revenge by prosecuting in a monetary value war. The results, say net incomes, are given on the right of the pointers that end the game, where the first result is for “ E ” and the 2nd 1 for “ I. ”

Given the scene in the figure, there are two Nash equilibriums, Eq1: ( “ Not Enter ” ; “ Retaliation ” ) , and Eq2: ( “ Enter ” ; “ No Retaliation ” ) . Once “ E ” has entered the industry, both “ Tocopherol ” and “ I ” would prefer to be in Eq2, which specifies “ Enter ” for “ E ” and “ No Retaliation ” for “ I ” , as opposed to a place where “ E ” chooses “ Enter ” and “ I ” chooses “ Retaliation. ” Hence, in antique station state of affairss, Eq2 involves rational picks for both participants.

On the other manus, it might non ever be straightforward to see what Eq1 implies for houses ‘ behaviour. Eq1 specifies ex ante ratings, where “ E ” stays out of the industry with the belief that “ I ” will revenge by prosecuting in a monetary value war. In the instance of the belief that “ I ” will take “ Retaliation ” the rational pick for “ E ” is to take “ Not Enter ” as opposed to “ Enter. ” However, if “ E ” would so come in the industry, the pick of “ Retaliation ” by “ I ” would be based on an irrational behaviour because in such instance “ I ” would be better off by taking “ No Retaliation. ” For “ I ” , while “ Retaliation ” would be rational in antique ante ratings ( or in one-shot game scenes ) , it is non so one time “ Enter ” by “ E ” is in topographic point since it is “ No Retaliation ” that is the rational pick in such antique station state of affairss ( or in dynamic game scenes ) . This besides means that merely Eq2 is a sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium.

Resource-Based View ( RBV )

In the resource-based position, houses are considered to differ in footings of efficiency because of the differences in their competitory advantage due to indue or acquired resources. Since imitation would decrease portion of the competitory advantage that houses have, “ the really construct of sustained competitory advantage is frequently defined in equilibrium footings: it is that advantage which lasts after all efforts at imitation have ceased. So, ( zero imitation ) equilibrium is utilized as a yardstick to specify and understand sustained competitory advantage ” ( Foss and Mahnke, 1998, p. 9 ) . More by and large, mentioning to Demsetz ( 1973 ) , Barney ( 1986, 1991 ) , Rumelt ( 1987 ) , Dierickx and Cool ( 1989 ) and Peteraf ( 1993 ) , a house ‘s competitory advantage would be sustained if these standards are met:

resources are heterogenous plenty to account for differences in efficiency

resources are antique ante economical

resources are antique station non-imitable

resources are non absolutely nomadic across houses

Findingss and Analysis:

Porter ‘s Five-Forces Model versus Game Theory

In relation to Porter ‘s analysis, the first type of equilibrium ( Eq1 ) in the figure could be the instance when bing houses are believable in their menaces to revenge against the possible entrants, which is relates to his treatment of one of the five competitory forces, i.e. the “ possible entry of new rivals. ” More by and large, Eq1 type of equilibrium would keep if the construction of entry barriers is such that in the event of entry houses believe that everybody, or at least the possible entrant, is worse off. However, when it comes to ex station state of affairss and entry has been made, the 2nd type of equilibrium ( Eq2 ) is likely to be the instance.

If Porter ‘s theoretical account holds, every bit long as houses pursue his recommended schemes, for illustration, “ Tocopherol ” and “ I ” could prosecute “ lower cost, ” but without needfully prosecuting in a ferocious monetary value war. This would connote Eq2 as the sub-game Nash equilibrium. Equally long as “ E ” is able to gain net incomes when come ining the industry, the game illustrated can be easy extended to let for houses to take among the other Porter-recommended schemes. In instance Porter ‘s theoretical account holds, the chase of these schemes would honor houses with higher than mean profitableness ( which straight relates to net incomes presuming equal capital/investment demands ) , though non needfully with equal net income degrees.

With entry, Eq2 would be stable for every bit long as both houses earn more than in a relatiative state of affairs, which, in another illustration of Porter ‘s analysis, could go on if one house has chosen “ distinction ” and the other one “ lower cost. ” In the instance of more than two houses, mentioning to Porter ‘s analysis, the state of affairs would interpret into picks among the recommended and non-recommended schemes. If Porter is right, those houses that choose recommended options are better away, every bit long as all houses do non at the same time take “ Retaliation ” type of picks. With steadfast heterogeneousness, houses with superior public presentation based on Porter ‘s prescription choose their unit costs, grades of distinction, or relevant strategic marks, but non needfully the same for each house.

While Foss and Mahnke acknowledge the promotion that game theory has brought into the analysis of houses ‘ competitory behaviour through its tools based on logical logical thinking, they do knock this attack on the evidences of the specification of equilibrium. Harmonizing to their survey, since equilibrium is given from the beginning ( given that games consist of sophisticated participants who anticipate each other ‘s actions ) it leaves no room for disequilibrium state of affairss, such as entrepreneurial finds or managerial alteration to make new chances. Explicitly, they province that: “ Most notably, there is no impression of an entrepreneurial find process ( Kirzner 1973 ) , in the sense that house directors are non supposed to detect and move on new chances in the market. Everything is basically given from the beginning and specified by the analyst ” ( Foss and Mahnke, 1998, p. 6 ) .

Based on this description of the function of game theory as the nucleus of the new industrial organisation, Porter ‘s theoretical account of generic schemes is viewed as an effort to explicate steadfast competitory behaviour at a less aggregative explanatory degree. In other words, while game theory explains why some houses are in and some others out of the industry, Porter ‘s theoretical account ( 1980 ) tries to supply a more elaborate analysis of why some of the houses already in the industry are more successful than others.

Porter ‘s Five-Forces Model versus Resource-based position

In RBV, a house ‘s competitory advantage would be sustained if these standards are met:

resources are heterogenous plenty to account for differences in efficiency

resources are antique ante economical

resources are antique station non-imitable

resources are non absolutely nomadic across houses

In relation to Porter ‘s theoretical account, the first two standards would look to be met in the attempts that houses make to accomplish lower cost or distinction placement in the industry. This, when combined with a wide or lower mark, is supposed to give a higher than mean public presentation. Requirements of the “ lower cost ” or “ distinction ” every bit good as “ focal point ” schemes illustrate such affinity, as, for illustration, is the instance of sufficient disbursement on advertisement and R & A ; D or attempts to procure favourable inputs ( low monetary value or high quality ) that lower-cost manufacturers and discriminators would hold to do in order to successfully prosecute their recommended schemes.

The 3rd and 4th standards are non so squarely related to Porter ‘s analysis, but they besides could be considered as being indirectly present at that place. If the house ‘s resources-or its demands ( Porter ‘s definition ) and efforts-are being imitated or are absolutely nomadic across houses, there would be no differences across houses in footings of their competitory advantage on cost or distinction.

Provided these characteristics of the RBV and the treatment above, Porter ‘s theoretical account is viewed as an effort to explicate steadfast competitory behaviour at a more aggregative explanatory degree. Hence, the construct of the house ‘s competitory advantage in Porter ‘s theoretical account would stand for the collection of differences in houses ‘ resources.

Foss and Mahnke knock the RBV on similar evidences to their review of game theory. They view it as missing disequilibrium accounts. For case, they province that: “ … sustained competitory advantage exists merely in ( zero imitation ) equilibrium ( californium. Lippman and Rumelt, 1982 ) ; it merely makes no sense to talk of sustained competitory advantage outside of equilibrium, because equilibrium is defined as the absence of imitation. … much of the of import construction of the resource-based position is solidly founded on equilibrium methodological analysis ” ( Foss and Mahnke, 1998, p. 10 ) . Another critical point in Foss and Mahnke is that Porter explains house differences by trusting on a given context ( industry ) or gift of resources ( factors ) . They do non account for other signifiers of houses ‘ differences, such as acquisition and entrepreneurship ( managerial alteration, invention, etc. ) , which are explained endogenously. A house ‘s absorbent capacity could be the account for the grade of acquisition and entrepreneurship if three conditions are met.

invention occurs as a consequence of cumulative cognition and acquisition.

every bit long as acquisition helps to construct knowledge-based capacity-learning and knowledge-based capacity are of import elements that lead to invention.

there is a strong correlativity between invention and entrepreneurship, and such readings of invention could likewise widen to entrepreneurship.

Since entrepreneurship is a more abstract construct than invention, the last status might come in ready to hand in empirical analysis by giving one the ability to do usage of steps of invention in deducing decisions approximately entrepreneurship every bit good.

At one degree, it is of import that looking at the house as a aggregation of activities and the value concatenation is a manner of forming those activities. The nature and cost of those activities give rise to competitory advantage. There is a direct line between activities, cost, monetary value, and profitableness. Resources and competencies are one measure back in the concatenation from this. Presumably, if house has a batch of competency in gross revenues, it will be allowed to carry on its gross revenues activity more expeditiously. When looking at an organisation ‘s activities, it is utile to look at the balance sheet of competencies and capablenesss. That will be an of import determiner of how effectual the activity will be, which so has a direct nexus to competitory advantage. The job is its shrewish impreciseness: What is a competency? What is a capableness? What makes a steadfast unique? Why is it that a house is traveling to have superior returns instead than the resource holder who could dicker up the monetary value? It frequently comes across as vague and allows companies to do overdone claims about their resources and competencies without formalizing those claims with proper analysis. For illustration, how will a steadfast become more profitable, through higher monetary value or lower cost or some combination of the two? How can take down cost and/or higher monetary value be achieved? How do resources and competencies connect to these inquiries? The RBV has imploded that the more that people have investigated the implicit in premises, the more they question this attack. Finally, it loses its operational significance.

Advantages of utilizing Porter ‘s theoretical account:

Popularity:

Porter has had a major impact on the country of concern scheme and on the field of industrial economic sciences. For case, Miller and Dess ( 1993 ) found that over 1986-1990, Porter ‘s 1980 work was referred in about half of the documents in the Strategic Management Journal. in July 2005, there were a sum of 896 mentions to Porter, of which 807 had cited his 1980 theoretical account in the diaries utilizing the “ Business Source Premier ‘s database.

Chiseled construction:

By looking at the model of three generic schemes, the construct of competitory advantage and scheme has been explained within a well-structured scene. The theoretical account presents a “ general regulation ” for a house ‘s scheme. It is contended that houses that follow the regulation or the recommended scheme will achieve competitory advantage and execute better than houses that do non. The benefit of utilizing a well-structured theoretical account for analysing the competitory advantage of houses is that it provides some standards or benchmarks against which houses can be easy analyzed and compared in ex station state of affairss.

Feasibility:

The application of such a theoretical account to existent life state of affairss becomes executable since placing and choosing those houses that have achieved competitory advantage and take the relevant strategic marks becomes a reasonably straightforward procedure. One can merely put these houses within the model and buttocks whether they fall within the recommended options or non. The more executable a theoretical account is, the easier the comparing of houses can be made ; and accordingly, the easier decisions about competitory advantage and public presentation are reached. This may be particularly helpful in empirical scenes where jobs with informations quality are prevailing. A executable theoretical account gives the research worker a utile tool to rapidly see whether the information from the observations fits the theoretical account ‘s dimensions or non, flinging those observations with equivocal information.

Clarity:

The theoretical account of generic schemes presents a clear and easy comprehendible manner of analysing how a house can achieve competitory advantage and execute better and besides when it fails to make so. The construct of competitory advantage can be understood without trouble by theoreticians, practicians and the ballad audience because the significances of lower cost and distinction ( in footings of quality at least ) are comparatively straightforward. In a universe of many different civilizations, linguistic communications and houses ‘ patterns, the nomenclatures used, particularly those in theory and concern, can sometimes be far from consistent. This is peculiarly true when a theory is translated into other linguistic communications for research and/or instruction intents. Furthermore, differences in nomenclature can besides present serious jobs to to the full absorb what a theory suggests for real-life concern patterns, particularly where they are applied in contexts that differ well from those in which the theory foremost originated. Where research workers and professionals need to prosecute in interpretation and accommodating theoretical constructs into comprehendible and operable footings, a theoretical account that possesses lucidity in its original format is a valuable plus.

Simplicity and generalization:

Porter has presented his 1980 theoretical account in such general footings that it can embrace any type of industry and house. Furthermore, the theoretical account has a noteworthy simpleness in footings of the chief elements that make up the competitory schemes. Since attempts to make simpleness are sometimes associated with the decrease of the figure of inside informations or elements of a theoretical account, the truth of representation may necessarily be put into inquiry. The tradeoff between simpleness and representation is a topic of argument in every scientific discipline, but the comparatively low assurance in happening cosmopolitan and lasting Torahs regulating the nature of societal phenomena can do this issue more problematic in economic sciences, and even more so in concern surveies. Although it is through empirical analyses that theoretical accounts are assessed in footings of their ability to capture the kernel of a more complex world, a simple and general theoretical account remains desirable in every field.

Complementary:

Porter ‘s theoretical account represents a instead high grade of item in the specification and account of houses ‘ competitory behaviour. While game theoretic theoretical accounts are concerned with even broader consideration of scheme, they do non by and large prosecute in a elaborate account of the specific actions of houses while taking one action in the tree of the game. There are, of class, surveies within game theory that do see elaborate actions of houses ‘ competitory behaviour, but as an overall attack to scheme, it is more concerned with the context of competition instead than competitory actions, per Se.

Porter ‘s theoretical account describes the competitory behaviour of houses more specifically than game theory, though such behaviour is still viewed as generic at the broadest degree of a house ‘s scheme planning and execution procedure. In order to be successful in the chase of one of the recommended generic schemes, houses should run into a figure of demands. However, the theoretical account itself is moderately general since it incorporates a myriad of factors and conditions for houses into a three-generic-strategy attack with five recommended strategic options. On the other manus, as noted in the treatment of the old subdivision, the resource-based position specifies houses ‘ competitory behaviour in more item by looking at how the resources should be used in order for houses to be able to make and keep competitory advantage.

Given this reading, Porter ‘s theoretical account has a complementary characteristic to game theoretic theoretical accounts and the RBV. The advantage of get downing with Porter ‘s theoretical account is that the cognition gained from its pertinence can supply a utile footing for farther probes along the lines of a wide contextual attack based on game theory or a more elaborate intra-firm attack based on the RBV.

Critics on Porter ‘s theoretical account

Despite the advantages of utilizing Porter ‘s theoretical account, there have been unfavorable judgments of a figure of facets of his work. The five forces construct has been attacked on the footing that the chief unit of analysis is the industry instead than the single house. Porter argues that the model makes it possible to measure the possible profitableness of a peculiar industry, and Porter and McGahan ( 1997 ) supply some grounds to back up this claim, whereas Rumelt ( 1991 ) argues that firm-specific factors are more of import to the profitableness of a concern than industry-wide factors. The model besides implies that the five forces apply every bit to all houses in an industry. However, the strength of the forces may differ from concern to concern on the footing of house size and/or the strength of their trade name name in world. Finally, five forces analysis can be regarded as instead inactive at a clip when the concern environment is progressively dynamic. Despite these possible restrictions, the model is the most powerful tool available for analysis of the concern environment to this twenty-four hours.

The generic scheme model has been the focal point of far more than unfavorable judgment ( Miller, 1992 ; Mintzberg, Quinn, & A ; Ghoshal, 1995 ) . There is considerable grounds that many companies consciously operate a intercrossed scheme uniting low cost with differentiated merchandises or services and, instead than being stuck in the center, they are extremely successful concerns. Toyota is an illustration. Similarly, low cost, and low monetary value, entirely do non sell merchandises and services. They must possess qualities that are perceived by clients as desirable and of value. Furthermore, Mintzberg et Al. ( 1995 ) argued that monetary value, together with image, after gross revenues support, quality, and design, can be used as the footing of merchandise distinction. The resource-based school has more basically questioned the position that generic schemes can non be the footing of competitory advantage and they suggest that organisations must develop alone firm-specific nucleus competencies that will let them to surpass rivals by making things otherwise and better ( Prahalad & A ; Hamel, 1990 ) . This uniqueness precludes general formulas for competitory advantage such as those implied in the generic scheme model. Nevertheless, distinction of merchandises and services remains cardinal to the agencies by which organisations seek to derive competitory advantage.

Pretorius ( 2008 ) stated that Porter ‘s generic scheme matrix frequently proves unequal for usage by hard-pressed houses because of premise that ventures operate “ usually ” in competitory environments. Leaderships of troubled ventures confronting turnaround state of affairss need to construe the complex factors involved, as generic schemes entirely prove unequal.

E. Conclusion:

Porter ‘s theoretical account along with some other options, the New Industrial Organization and Game Theory and Resource-Based Perspective to the house ‘s competitory behaviour were reviewed.

The context of houses ‘ competitory schemes in Porter ‘s analysis consists of five competitory forces: possible entry of new rivals, strength of competition among existing houses, possible development of replacement merchandises, dickering power of consumers and dickering power of providers. Harmonizing to Porter, the joint influence of these forces determines the industry ‘s strength of competition and mean profitableness. Porter ‘s theoretical account of generic schemes encompasses the chief strategic options that houses prosecute irrespective of the type of industry and the house ‘s concern. There are two chief dimensions in this theoretical account: competitory advantage, which can be in the signifier of lower cost or distinction ; and strategic mark ( s ) , which can be found in footings of geographic countries, market sections served, or scope of merchandises offered.

Porter ‘s three recommended schemes are “ lower cost, ” “ distinction, ” and “ focal point. ” Focus can be of three sorts: “ cost focal point, ” “ distinction focal point, ” or “ cost and distinction focal point. ” The non-recommended option is “ stuck in the center. ” Harmonizing to Porter, the recommended schemes reward houses with higher than mean profitableness, and the “ stuck in the center ” scheme necessarily outputs hapless public presentation. In relation to the other attacks reviewed, Porter ‘s theoretical account is considered as an insightful and convenient attack to analysing the house ‘s competitory behaviour for a figure of grounds. These grounds are its popularity, chiseled construction, feasibleness, lucidity, simpleness and generalization, and complementary function to two other chief attacks to analysis at the aggregative degree.

Although insightful and convenient, whether Porter ‘s theoretical account is besides a utile attack to foretell superior public presentation is another issue and an of import research subject. The cognition of the utility of Porter ‘s theoretical account would be enhanced if a figure of surveies that relate to this theoretical account are critically reviewed. It would be best non merely to indicate out the findings of the surveies reviewed, but also-more importantly-to assess their conceptualisation of Porter ‘s theoretical account every bit good as the methodological analysiss deployed.

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