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Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management

(National Management Programme)

Guidelines for Dissertation


(Procedures and Rules)

Management Development Institute


Mehrauli Road, Sukhrali, Gurgaon - 122007

These guidelines give the procedures and rules for the Dissertation which is a compulsory requirement for the award of Executive Post-Graduate Diploma in Management under the National Management Programme.

Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

Objective
The objective of having a dissertation in the Fifth Term of the National Management Programme is to allow the participants to apply the learning gained in the programme to a real-life problem. The dissertation should be a substantive contribution to the body of knowledge through integration of literature review and methodology pertinent to the understanding and resolution of management problems. The dissertation should demonstrate competence in using or developing a model or a set of hypotheses, collecting and interpreting data, arriving at conclusions and drawing implications for research and managerial practices. It should also highlight how actions initiated in one area or function impact the others in the organisation. The recommendations made in the dissertation should be in both quantitative (costs and benefits) as well as qualitative terms. The dissertation should result in a visible concrete output which would, therefore, have a demonstrable potential enabling individuals to pursue further work on the theme by way of M.Phil., Ph.D. or D.Sc. programmes.

Dissertation Credit
The dissertation work is graded and equivalent to three credit points.

Topic for Dissertation


Once the participant has come up with a promising idea, he/she should subject it to careful scrutiny to determine whether it meets the following criteria:
i)

ii) iii)

It should sustain the participants interest and stimulate his/her imagination, so that he/she will bear upon it with his/her full creative abilities. It should be manageable in size. It must have the potential to make a significant contribution to management theory and practice.

The dissertation should preferably be carried out in the sponsoring organisation. However, if a participant wishes to work on a dissertation outside his sponsoring organisation, he/she has to produce a 'No Objection Certificate' from the sponsoring organisation. In this case the organizational advisor would have to be from the organisation where the dissertation work is undertaken. Participants are also allowed to do a sectoral/survey based dissertation.

Dissertation Advisors
For the supervision and guidance of the NMP dissertation, a Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC) will be constituted for each participant. It will normally consist of two advisors identified by the participants, one from MDI and second from the sponsoring organisation. In case of a self-sponsored participant, the second advisor should be from the organisation where the dissertation would be undertaken. However, in case of a sectoral/survey based dissertation work, the Dissertation Advisory Committee may comprise of only the MDI faculty. The process of identification of the DAC must be completed as soon as the fourth term ends. The composition of the DAC should be reported to the NMP Office not later than 20th May or the last working day of May whichever is earlier.
Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

Role of the Dissertation Advisory Committee


The roles of DAC are as follow: i) Developing and vetting the dissertation proposal with the participant. ii) Supervising and guiding the participant and providing feedback from time to time based on his/her progress. iii) Giving written feedback on the draft of the dissertation submitted by the participant. iv) Approving the dissertation. v) Before forwarding the dissertation to the NMP Office, DAC members must be satisfied about the quality of the dissertation.

Dissertation Proposal
A Dissertation Proposal should be prepared by the participant. The purpose of the dissertation proposal is to allow the participant to place the proposed study within a coherent, organised framework, which is also standardised. This will enhance the participants understanding, grasp and clarity on the subject matter, the context of the managerial problem and the research problem. Further, it allows for the proper vetting and evaluation of the proposed research by the panel reviewing the proposals. This is necessary for the direction and procedure of the study to be brought within the required scope, coverage and rigour, and also for enhancing the quality of the research effort, with the inputs of the whole panel to identify and suggest rectification of possible problems in the proposals. When the DAC agrees on the adequacy of the research/study design, the dissertation proposal, duly signed by his/her DAC members, should be submitted to the NMP Office not later than 20 th May or the last working day before this date.

Dissertation Proposal Guidelines


The proposal should contain a survey of literature and context description on the subject. It should clearly state the research objective(s), relate these to the subject and problems in this context, develop a model or state the hypothesis/hypotheses, provide clear definitions, describe and justify the proposed research methodology and highlight the potential contribution of the proposed work to theory, practice and research in the relevant area of management. Dissertation proposal should be prepared and submitted in the following format: i. Cover page of dissertation proposal (Format shown in Appendix 1)

ii. Table of Contents


iii.

Introduction: This should begin with the managerial or sectoral problem and the background to the problem, its genesis, consequents, current practices, etc. Next, it should describe the rationale for the study and the benefits in terms of knowledge, and specify the skill, practices, systems, etc. The next part is to delimit the scope of the project, and to specify the area of action taken under the project. It should continue with a subsection titled The Problem Statement" It should then end by examining the literature in this regard and the conclusions drawn from a survey of literature, in a subsection titled Literature survey".

Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

iv.

The Research Problem: This should be a specific set of statements which describe the research problem, and go on to develop the hypotheses, or to describe the nature and area of possible outputs from the research if it is exploratory/qualitative in nature. The expected results from such a research study should also be described in terms of the specific hypotheses developed. If possible, the operationalized hypotheses should also be defined at this stage itself, to have the advantage of panel inputs regarding the core of the study. The Research Design: This will contain four subsections, viz. The general methodology of study adopted, whether case method or based on secondary or accounting/financial data, or survey based etc., and the procedure of the same. b) The sample or data source specifications and sampling frame or plan to acquire the data. c) The data collection procedure d) The data analysis, qualitative analysis techniques and the form of the outputs of analysis.
a)

v.

vi.

Time frame : The time frame for the completion of the dissertation, stage wise and event wise, with details if possible, giving the expected day and dates of completion at each stage. References (Appendix 13)

vii.

Four copies of the proposal duly approved by the DAC should be submitted to the NMP Office not later than 30th September or the last working day in September whichever is earlier.

Standards for Dissertation


The primary purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate the participant's capability to make effective use of research methods appropriate to the problem and to develop and handle evidence satisfactorily. The dissertation should, therefore, contain a section on: a) the research procedure(s) employed, and b) the extent, nature, reliability and suitability of evidence gathered. It is necessary to include sufficient evidence to support the reasoning and conclusions so as to permit future researchers/scholars to build upon them. The length of the dissertation will vary with the topic and evidence required. The learning of the participant regarding in-depth knowledge of the field should be brought out by the section on literature review and model or framework used for the dissertation study.

Guidelines for Dissertation Preparation


Number of Copies of Dissertation: Four copies of the dissertation should be submitted to the NMP Office by 5:00 pm 30th September or the last working day of September whichever is earlier duly approved by DAC members. A soft copy should also be made available for records of the MDI Library.

Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

One copy of the dissertation should be compiled as follows : Cover page Page i Page ii Page iii Page vi-v Page vi Page vii Page viii Page ix Page x Page xi Page 1 . . . Page ... Page ... Page ... : : : : : : : : : : : : Appendix 1 Inside Cover Page (Appendix 3) Certificate of Approval (Appendix 4) Approval of DAC (Appendix 5) Abstract (maximum two pages - Appendix 6) Acknowledgement (Appendix 7) Table of Contents (Appendix 8) List of Figures (Appendix 9) List of Tables (Appendix 10) List of Appendices (Appendix 11) Abbreviations (Appendix 12) Chapter I

: : :

Last Chapter References (Appendix 13) Appendices

The other three copies shall be compiled as under : Cover Page Page i Page iii Page viii Page ix Page x Page xi Page xii Page 1 . . . Page ... Page ... Page ... : : : : : : : : : Appendix 1A Inside Cover Page (Appendix 2) Abstract (maximum two pages - Appendix 6) Table of Contents (Appendix 8) List of Figures (Appendix 9) List of Tables (Appendix 10) List of Appendices (Appendix 11) Abbreviations (Appendix 12) Chapter I

: : :

Last Chapter References (Appendix 13) Appendices

Cover Page: Cover page and second title page must conform to the sample shown in Appendices. . Abstract: Each Dissertation must include an abstract of a maximum of two sides in single space (about 800-1000 words). It should state clearly and concisely the topic, scope, methodology and conclusions reached. Acknowledgement: Participants are advised to acknowledge help and support received from faculty members, library, computer centre, outside experts, their sponsoring organizations, etc. Table of Contents: Every dissertation must contain a table of contents which provides a view of the organisation of the dissertation material.
Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

List of Tables, Figures and Abbreviations: If the dissertation contains tables, figures and abbreviations used, they should be listed immediately following the table of contents on separate pages. Introduction: As in the proposal, this should begin with the managerial or sectoral problem and the background to the problem, its genesis, consequents, current practices, etc. It should start from a broad overview and then move to the specific focus of the study. This should include the specific business or functional problem being faced by the organisation, or in the case of sectoral studies, the need of such a study and the usefulness of such a sectoral study. Next, it should describe the rationale for the study and the benefits in terms of knowledge, skill, practices, systems, etc. which should be specified. The next part is to delimit the scope of the project, and to specify the area of enquiry under the project. It should continue with a subsection titled 'Problem Formulation'. This should describe the specific business problem faced and the related issues involved. This would clarify the objectives of the dissertation. It should then end by reviewing the literature in this regard and the conclusions drawn from a survey of literature, in a subsection titled "Literature Survey". Participants should do a comprehensive library search on the topic he/she is going to work on for his/her dissertation. This will help in knowing the work done in the past and also the current work/research being done in the particular area. For this purpose, participants may refer to earlier NMP dissertations, books, journals, reports, magazines, new paper cuttings, etc. The survey should cover all the issues raised in the earlier sections of the introduction and should help in creating a theoretical framework or set of assumptions which will define the research area under study, in specific terms. This will help frame the problem in terms of variables under study and in focusing the research problem. The theoretical framework or the model developed for this purpose, will allow for proper operationalisation of the research problem. Assumptions made in the study must be clearly justified and the grounds or evidence used for the development of the hypotheses, i.e., the variables involved, their relationships, etc., must be given in detail in this section. The Research Problem: On the basis of the literature review and the discussions with DAC and presentation, the final research problem which will be the basis of the actual study, will be formulated and described here. The section will draw on the model or framework developed earlier, and should describe the development of the hypotheses or the argument for a qualitative exploratory study on that basis. It will build a set of constructive arguments for the research problem. It will further describe how the problem was operationalised for measurement and analysis and will end with a statement of the operationalised hypotheses. In case it is exploratory /qualitative/case study based in nature or to state pointwise the variables, nature and area of possible outputs from the research. The expected results from such a research study should also be described in terms of the specific hypotheses developed. The Research Design: This will contain four subsections, viz. The general methodology of adopted for study, whether case method or based on secondary or accounting/financial data, or survey based, etc., and the procedure followed in the study. The sample or data source specifications and sampling frame or plan to acquire the data. Sources of data must be mentioned at the appropriate places in the dissertation. The detailed sampling plan and the procedure adopted for sampling should be described here.

Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

The data collection procedure. The dissertation must involve data collection in a systematic manner. It should not be a mere collection of opinions based on personal experience. The tool used for data collection, if any, or the method adopted for the same should be described in detail in this section. This should also contain the procedure for administering the tool or conducting the interview, etc, as the case may be. The data analysis carried out, the quantitative or qualitative analysis techniques and the form of the outputs of analysis should all be described here. The software or package used for computation should also be mentioned.

Results and Conclusions: This section should include all the tabulated and text descriptions of the results obtained in the study. It should be noted that all the tables and figures should be properly titled and numbered, and listed in the table of contents. Next, the conclusions and inferences that are drawn from the analysis of the results (in support of the hypotheses or in the case of exploratory study, the variables identified and/ or involved), should be stated clearly and specifically. These should bear on the hypotheses, and should be an answer to the research problem. Thus they should be linked to the initial research problem, and the conclusions should then relate the various issues studied to the problem under study. Recommendations: The dissertation should conclude with the recommendations developed from the analysis and findings of the study. This is a critical section and should highlight your specific contributions keeping in view the purpose of the dissertation. It should demonstrate learning and use of skill and knowledge in actual problem solving. The last part of this chapter will describe the limitations of the study and suggest directions for further research in this area. References: References should be complete in all respect as shown in Appendix 13. Cross referencing: All references (books, journals, magazines, news papers, reports, proceedings, etc.) listed in the dissertation should be cross referenced in the text at appropriate places e.g. The needs and skills required to manage todays businesses in a global environment are far different than they were just a decade ago. Clearly we need a new way of looking at manufacturing, for the way we have considered it in the past in no longer sufficient. With the rapid changes in IT and manufacturing technology, firms are therefore getting increasingly interested in managing the strategy-technology connection to develop new ways of achieving competitive advantage (Porter, 1985). Firms are attempting to link manufacturing strategy with business strategy (Skinner, 1985; Wheelright, 1981), to examine the strategic impact of rapidly changing manufacturing and information technology (Jelinek and Goldhar, 1983; Kantrow, 1980), and to find new ways of viewing manufacturing as a competitive weapon (Hayes and Wheelright, 1984; Jelinek and Goldhar, 1984; Skinner, 1985). Information technology is a key ingredient in this emerging trend of getting competitive advantage through manufacturing.

Last Date for Submission of Dissertation


The last date for submission of the dissertation is 5:00 pm 30th September or the last working day of September whichever is earlier. Extensions as a rule will not be granted. However, an extension for a maximum period of one month may be granted to a participant under extenuating circumstances such as hospitalization or death in the family. The participant will be required to make a request in writing before the last date for submission. The request will be jointly considered and decided upon by the NMP Dissertation Co-coordinator and Chairman (NMP), and their decision would be final and binding. If any participant fails to submit his/her
Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

dissertation on or before the stipulated deadline for submission, he/she will not be awarded the Diploma that year. Participants submitting after the deadline will be considered for award of the Diploma at the next convocation.

Evaluation of the Dissertation


Once the DAC approves the dissertation, the participant may submit four copies of the dissertation alongwith soft copy to the NMP Office. The Dissertation Evaluation Panel will be constituted by the Chairman (NMP) for each candidate and will comprise of two members of the faculty or a faculty member and an outside expert (the participants dissertation guide being excluded). The participant has to give a short formal presentation, not exceeding 15 minutes, on a specified date and time to this panel. (The participants guide for the dissertation will not be present for the presentation). The defence will be open to MDI faculty and NMP participants besides the DAC. The participants guide will evaluate the dissertation submitted and give marks out of fifty (50). The dissertation evaluation panel evaluating the presentation will similarly give marks out of fifty (50). The final marks will be a sum total of the marks given by the guide and the dissertation evaluation panel. If the Dissertation Evaluation is not satisfied with the work done by the participant, it may ask the participant to resubmit the same. The participant would have to resubmit within a month from the date of the defence in a similar manner done in the first submission. However, in this case, the participant would be awarded a maximum grade of B-.

Guidelines for Dissertation (Executive PGPM)

Grading
The dissertation will be evaluated on a 10-point scale consisting of following grades: Letter Grade A+ A AB+ B BC+ C CD F I Grade Point 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 _ Description Exceptional Excellent Proficient Very Good Good Fair Satisfactory Low Pass Poor Very Poor Fail Incomplete

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Appendix 1

Dissertation Title
(Times New Roman 18 points)

A Dissertation Proposal for (Times New Roman 11 points)

Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (NMP)


(Times New Roman 13 points) by (Times New Roman 11 points)

Name
(Times New Roman 13 points)

under the guidance of Shri XXXXXXXXXXXX Designation Organisation Dr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Designation MDI, Gurgaon

Management Development Institute


(Arial 14 points)

Gurgaon 122 007


(Times New Roman 12 points) Date (Times New Roman 11 points)
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Appendix 1A

Dissertation Title
(Times New Roman 18 points)

A Dissertation Proposal for (Times New Roman 11 points)

Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (NMP)


(Times New Roman 13 points) by (Times New Roman 11 points)

Name
(Times New Roman 13 points)

Management Development Institute


(Arial 14 points)

Gurgaon 122 007


(Times New Roman 12 points) Date (Times New Roman 11 points)
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Appendix 2

Dissertation Title
(Times New Roman 18 points)

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of (Times New Roman 11 points)

Post-Graduate Diploma in Management


(Times New Roman 14 points)

by (Times New Roman 11 points)

Name
(Times New Roman 13 points)

Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (NMP number)


(Times New Roman 13 points)

Management Development Institute


(Arial 14 points)

Gurgaon 122 007


(Times New Roman 12 points) Month, Year (Times New Roman 11 points)
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Appendix 3

Dissertation Title
(Times New Roman 18points)

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of (Times New Roman 11 points)

Post-Graduate Diploma in Management


(Times New Roman 14 points)

by (Times New Roman 11 points)

Name
(Times New Roman 13 points)

under the guidance of Shri XXXXXXXXXXXX Designation Organisation Dr. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Designation MDI, Gurgaon

Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (NMP number)


(Times New Roman 13 points)

Management Development Institute


(Arial 14 points)

Gurgaon 122 007


(Times New Roman 12 points) Month, Year
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(Times New Roman 11 points) Appendix 4

Certificate of Approval
The following dissertation titled "ABC ..." is hereby approved as a certified study in management carried out and presented in a manner satisfactory to warrant its acceptance as a prerequisite for the award of Post- Graduate Diploma in Business Management for which it has been submitted. It is understood that by this approval the undersigned do not necessarily endorse or approve any statement made, opinion expressed or conclusion drawn therein but approve the dissertation only for the purpose it is submitted. Dissertation Examination Committee for evaluation of dissertation Name _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ Signature ___________________ ___________________ ___________________

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Appendix 5

Certificate from Dissertation Advisory Committee


This is to certify that Mr./Ms. XYZ , a participant of the XX National Management Programme, has worked under our guidance and supervision. He/She is submitting this dissertation titled "ABC ..." in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the PostGraduate Diploma in Business Management. This dissertation has the requisite standard and to the best of our knowledge no part of it has been reproduced from any other dissertation, monograph, report or book.

Faculty Advisor Designation Management Development Institute Gurgaon Date

Organisational Advisor Designation Organisation Address Date

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Appendix 6

Abstract Title of the Dissertation


by . Sample Researchers in international transfer of technology have predominantly assumed the perspective of top management of multinational corporations or public policy makers in developing countries. The influence of the external as well as the internal environments on the technology acquisition and assimilation process has been studied by previous researchers. However, the processes through which top managers of firms manage the two environments while acquiring and assimilating technology has received less attention. This research was focused on the managerial processes involved in managing the interaction of the external and internal environments in relation to technology acquisition and assimilation in the specific context of atypical developing country like India. This study used the framework for Corporate Strategy, which links the external environment with the organisations by utilising the concept of matching of environmental opportunities and threats with organisational resources and capabilities. The research sites chosen were six major firms in the Indian tractor industry. The perspective assumed was of the top management of these firms. The major findings are : 1. The Government exercised a pervasive influence on the process of technology acquisition and assimilation in the tractor industry because of its importance to the economy. In spite of the constraints imposed by Government, the firms were able to develop different product -market and technological strategies. When these strategies were uniquely related to the environment and the organisational resources and competence, there was all around improvement in performance. The better the match between technological decisions, the firm's environment and organisational resources and capabilities, easier and faster was the process of technology assimilation. A general conclusion arrived at was that several firms operating in the same environment could achieve overall success by developing strategies uniquely related to their environment and resources and capabilities. Two dominant modes of the strategy development process were identified. They were both characterised by an adaptive response to environmental changes and were termed : i) Formulatory-Adaptive, and ii)Evolutionary-Adaptive depending on the nature of the process. 2. The process of acquisition and assimilation of technology was viewed as the process by which firms attempt to relate technological decisions to their environment and resources and distinctive competence. This process was conceptualised as consisting of four interrelated sub-processes : i) Technology Acquisition, ii) Technology Adaptation, iii) Technology Utilisation and iv) Technology Development. Thses sub-processes were distinguished from each other by the differences in organisational characteristics, key managerial tasks and critical skills required to manage them.
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Some applications were examined for three likely audiences : i) researchers in management and international transfer of technology, ii) managers, and iii) public policy makers in developing countries. Data was collected in 1978 from six major tractor manufacturing firms, which comprised more than 80 percent of the total sales turnover. The technological issues studied were i) choice of product, ii) choice of foreign collaborator and mode of collaboration, iii) choice of plant size, iv) choice of plant location, v) choice of manufacturing technology, vi) choice of R&D activities, etc. Environmental factors like competition Government regulations, technological capabilities of farmers, automotive ancillary industry, role of national laboratories, etc. were considered. Organisational characteristics like formal organisational structure, system of control and coordination, training methodology, philosophy of top management of the firms, and their resources and capabilities were studied in conjunction with environmental factors. The clinical methodology used consisted of three phases : i) a pilot study of two major firms for a period of one and a half months approximately ii) study of secondary data sources, and iii) a re-examination of the previous two organisations and study of the additional four. Major data sources were in-depth interviews of some 60 senior company executives for a total period of about 300 hours. In addition , detailed study of various company documents like detailed project reports, feasibility reports, organisational announcements, etc. was also undertaken

* Source : IIM Ahmedabad, Manual of Policies and Procedures, 1997-98, pp. 50-51

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Appendix 7

Acknowledgements

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Appendix 8

Table of Contents
Page Acknowledgement Abstract (maximum two pages) Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables List of Appendices List of Abbreviations I XXXXXXXXXX 1.1 1.2 1.2.1 1.2.2 II XXXXXXXXXX 2.1 2.2 2.1.1 2.1.2 III XXXXXXXXXX 3.1 3.2

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Appendix 9

List of Figures
(start from separate page) Figure No. Description Page

__________________________
Appendix 10

List of Tables
(start from separate page) Table No. Description Page

________________________________ Appendix 11

List of Appendices
(start from separate page) Table No. Description Page

________________________________ Appendix 12

Abbreviations
(start from separate page)

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Appendix 13

Reference Style
Books
One Author Basu, A. (1963), Consumer Price Index: Theory, Practice and Use in India, Modern Book Agency, Calcutta. Two Authors Singh, M. and Pandya, J.F. (1967), Government Publications of India, Metropolitan Book Co., Delhi. Three Authors Mote, V.L.; Malya, M. M. and Saha J. (1968), Tables for Capital Investment Analysis, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Edited Book Basu, G. (ed.) (1962), Indian Tax Laws and Foreigners Having Investment in India or Having Business Connections in or with India, Oxford Book & Stationery, Calcutta. Government Publication Ministry of Law, Government of India (1960), The Copyright Act, 1957, The Manager of Publications, Delhi. Journal Paper Jain, S.K. (1967), World Class Manufacturing, International Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 6, No. 12, pp. 11-31. pp. stands for page number. Article in a Newspaper Gandhi, V. P. (1968), Will the Budget Achieve Its Aims? Certain Doubts, The Economic Times, Mar. 8, pp. 5-6. Conference Paper Bhattacharyya, S.K. (1967), Control Techniques and Their Applicability, paper presented at the Ahmedabad Management Association, Ahmedabad, Nov. 22, pp. 11-17.

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