Title of the Project
The title of the proposed study is “The Impact of Human Resource Bundles on Change Management Processes in Qatar National Bank.” As the title suggests, the proposed study will focus on investigating how the configuration of human resource management practices in bundles is applied within the context of Qatar National Bank to facilitate or improve change management processes. The choice of the study context is informed by the fact that the researcher is employed in this institution. The human resource management bundles that will form the focus of the study will be identified upon the review of current literature on the topic.We will write a custom Human Resource Processes in Qatar National Bank specifically for you
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The human resource management (HRM) practices adopted by organisations play a significant role in developing human capital, nurturing the inimitable and non-substitutable characteristics of strategic human resource (HR), and achieving sustainable competitive advantage by virtue of effective and efficient exploitation of the resources of the organisation (Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal 2008; Afiouni, Karam & El-Hajj 2013; Chowhan 2016).
Available management scholarship underscores an evolving belief that associates the survival of firms in the increasingly competitive knowledge-based economy with the adoption and implementation of world-class HR competencies and the practices needed to manage such resources (Darwish, Singh & Mohamed 2013). This belief has subsequently led to research surrounding the configuration of human resource practices in bundles and its effect on organisational-related outcomes such as performance and competitiveness (Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal 2008) and employee-related outcomes such as turnover intentions and organisational commitment (Chen & Wang 2014).
Research is consistent that HRM systems incorporate a highly integrated set of HRM practices which can be subdivided into bundles of HRM practices through which practices are aligned to realise the goals and objectives of the organisation (Ceylan 2013).
The bundling proposition, according to Bello-Pintado (2015, p. 311), is anchored on the notion that “individual HRM practices do not function in isolation but work in concert so that employees are exposed to multiple practices simultaneously.” Verburg, Hartog and Koopman (2007) acknowledge that the bundling proposition is embedded in the configurational approach to strategic human resource management (SHRM), which assumes that organisations perform better through both internal fit (HRM practices encompassing bundles in a consistent and coherent manner) and external fit (the alignment of practices in bundles relative to the organisation’s strategy, institutional settings and other outside factors).
From this perspective, a widely addressed question in the research arena is which combination of HRM bundles can lead to optimal organisational outcomes in terms of performance and competitiveness.
Various scholars have illuminated the important link between HRM practices and organisational change management processes, with Cheng and Wang (2014) applying the promising process-based approach to SHRM to examine the relationship between 2 typologies of HR attributions (commitment-focussed and control-focussed HR attributions) and 2 important employee outcomes (turnover intention and task performance) in an organisational change context in China.Get your
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Here, it is important to understand that the advocates of the process-based approach to SHRM “argue that employees may not respond to the HR practices directly and passively, but instead actively perceive, recognise, conceive, judge, and reason about HR practices in mental processes before taking action” (Cheng & Wang 2014, p. 1432).
In organisational change contexts, according to these authors, many employees may cope with organisational initiative in a passive way, and some of their reactions may be objectionable to the employer, hence the need to reinforce commitment-focussed HR attributions to achieve perceived organisational support and reduce turnover intentions during the change process. Molineux (2013) underscores the importance of using a systematic approach to SHRM to achieve successful cultural change in an organisation, while Crouse, Doyle and Young (2011) emphasise the need for HRM practitioners to develop new competencies in change management to steer their respective organisations toward successful change processes. However, despite a plethora of research on HRM and organisational change, the literature on the effect of the bundled approach to HRM on organisational change outcomes appears inadequate and highly fragmented.
Justification for the Research
While there is broad consensus about the important role that the implementation of sophisticated HRM practices plays in improving the performance and competitiveness of organisations (Bello-Pintado, 2015), there still is an open debate about the configuration of HRM in bundles and its effect on organisational change processes (Cheng & Wang 2014). Specifically, although there is mounting interest in orienting HRM practices towards a configurational approach suggesting that the performance, productivity and competitiveness of organisations are dependent on the effective amalgamation of HRM practices in accordance with both internal (internal fit) and external (external fit) factors, there still appears to be a gap in the literature on how the adoption of HRM practices in bundles affects organisational change processes.
Additionally, it is evident that past research studies in the area of HRM bundles and organisational outcomes such as change management have mostly focussed on the United States, with a few exceptions in single European countries (Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal 2008). While these studies show that the configuration of HRM practices in bundles has a positive effect on organisational outcomes, it may be difficult to generalise these findings to firms operating in Arab countries due to context-dependent variables such as religion and culture (Afiouni, Karam & El-Hajj 2013). Since Qatar is not homogenous to the US and Europe, there is a need to conduct a study that takes into account national differences in investigating the impact of bundles of HRM on change management processes.
The last justification is nested on the need to develop evidence-based incremental knowledge on which of the most common bundles of HRM can be used by organisations to improve change management processes. Research on HRM bundles and organisational performance demonstrate that, in totality, there is no agreement amongst scholars “on what these practices should be or even on the number of practices that can enhance organisational performance” (Darwish, Singh & Mohammed 2013, p. 3345). Assuming that the research on organisational performance parallels that of change management is experiencing challenges in establishing which HRM bundles lead to positive outcomes, it is important to undertake the proposed study to fill this research gap.
This section reviews extant literature related to configurations of human resource management practices and change management processes in organisational settings. As expected, a review and evaluation of literature on these topics will be instrumental in assisting the researcher in identifying existing research gaps that warrant further exploration.
As postulated by Darwish, Singh and Mohamed (2013, p. 3347), HR practices adopted by most firms cover five core areas of HRM namely “recruitment and selection, training, internal career opportunities, appraisals, and incentive and rewards.” Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal (2008) make the distinction between two generic classifications of HRM practices, namely control or calculative HRM practices (e.g., performance-related pay that accentuate quantifiable exchanges between the organisation and the employer) and commitment-based or collaborative HRM practices such as those emphasising employee strategy briefings with the view to fostering or nurturing employer-employee mutuality of interest. Bello-Pintado (2015) makes a more nuanced contribution to the SHRM literature by arguing that an effective HRM strategy necessitates the development of three attributes, namelyWe will write a custom
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- the necessary skills, abilities and competencies to make HR effort more meaningful,
- the capacity of HR practices to motivate workers to put in discretionary effort,
- the capacity to provide employees with the opportunity to take part in shop-floor decision making processes on the way their work is organised.
The “abilities” attribute is usually associated with HR practices such as recruitment/selection and training and development, while the “motivation” attribute is normally linked to HR practices encompassing compensation systems, employee-related incentives, performance management practices, internal promotion and job stability. Finally, as postulated by Bello-Pintado (2015), the “opportunities” component is usually associated with HR practices revolving around the issues of information sharing, employee independence and teamwork.
Bundles of HRM
The roots of the bundled perspective to HRM are embedded in configurational theoretical frameworks proposing that the correlation between HRM and firm performance entails intricate interactions between bundles of HRM practices and organisational outcomes. These bundles of complementary HRM practices, according to Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal (2008), are held to generate significantly higher performance outcomes than an individual or separate HRM practices.
The evidence generated so far points to the fact that organisations are able to achieve the highest improvements in productivity and competitiveness by using the configurational approach to HRM to implement groups of complementary practices rather than making changes to single HRM practices. Indeed, the bundled approach to HRM has been credited by scholars and theorists alike for being a source of competitive advantage that is both sustainable and hard to replicate (Ng & Dastmaichian 2011; Teng & Yazdanifard 2015).
Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal (2008, p. 2043) underscore the proposition that “the impact of HRM on organisational performance is dependent on the adoption of an effective combination of HRM practices, often referred to as HRM bundles.” On their part, Darwish, Singh and Mohammed (2013) argue that bundles of HRM practices should have the capacity to generate greater organisational effects by virtue of the whole being greater than the sum of its components.
Guchait and Choo (2010) acknowledge the fact that the matching of HR practices into bundles that align well with particular firm strategies lead to greater effectiveness. Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal (2008) make the important distinction between universalistic and configurational approaches to HRM by noting that the former consists of single HR practices combined in an additive manner, while the latter entails combining HR practices in a manner that promotes internal consistency with the view to attaining interrelated and synergistic practices.
This means that “different employment modes (knowledge-based employment, job-based employment, contract work and alliance/partnership) should have matching HR configurations (commitment-based, productivity-based, compliance-based and collaborative” (Verburg, Hartog & Koopman 2007, p. 185). Configurations of HR practices can also be anchored on a firm’s strategic and administrative context, organisational structures, and organisational culture.
There is a wide body of research on bundles of HRM and how they are categorised to achieve optimal effectiveness and efficiency in improving organisational outcomes. Most of these literature sources categorise bundles of HRM into three main groups, namely ability-enhancing HR practices, motivation-enhancing HR practices, and opportunity-enhancing practices (Chenevert & Tremblay 2009; Bello-Pintado 2015).Not sure if you can write
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Ability-enhancing HR practices include employee recruitment/selection techniques (the multiplicity of recruitment/selection techniques during the staffing procedure, such as interviews, personality and ability tests, as well as simulations), employee recruitment/selection criteria (standards developed by the employer to measure employees capabilities in learning, developing interpersonal relationships, achieving a cultural fit and developing a positive work attitude), and employee training and development (investment made by the employer in training employees, both in hours and financial resources spent) (Bello-Pintado 2015).
Motivation-enhancing HR practices include job security (the employer’s commitment to maintaining a long-lasting contract with employees), internal promotion (the employer’s commitment to promoting workers in lower cadres of employment to occupy middle management positions), high-performance compensation (the employer’s inclination to tie the employee’s salary to their performance or productivity), and formal performance evaluation (the employer’s inclination to tie incentives or benefits to results from formal performance evaluations).
Lastly, opportunity-enhancing HR practices include job autonomy (the independence of employees in deciding when, how and in what succession job tasks are completed), information sharing (the employer’s inclination to ensure that employees receive formal communication regarding financial information and the firm’s performance on a routine basis), and employee participation (the employer’s inclination to ensure that employees are involved in regularly planned meetings with the view to addressing work-related issues) (Chenevert & Tremblay 2009; Ceylan 2013; Bello-Pintado 2015).
Research on Bundles of HRM
One study interested in examining the impact of HR practices on organisational effectiveness in the financial sector of Jordan found a positive correlation between a bundle of HR practices and a firm’s financial performance (Darwish, Singh & Mohammed 2013).
Specifically, this study found that a bundle of HRM practices containing the components of recruitment and selection, training, and internal career opportunities showed a strong positive impact on improving financial performance and reducing employee turnover intentions. In a similar study, Guchait and Cho (2010) investigated the influence of a HRM bundle containing eight HRM practices (performance appraisal, training, staffing, rewards, benefits, working condition, equal employment opportunity, and information sharing) on the intention to leave. This study found that the bundled approach to HRM actually made the employees working in the service sector in India to become more committed to the organisation, which in turn lowered their turnover intention.
This finding, according to Guchait and Cho (2010, p. 1242), suggests the possibility that bundles of HRM practices may indeed be utilised by firms to exhibit their commitment to their workers “or to demonstrate their support, concern, and caring for their employees, and in turn to oblige the employees to reciprocate by being more committed to the organisation.” The study by Gooderham, Parry and Ringdal (2008) found that calculative and intermediary HRM bundles have some impact on the performance and competitiveness of firms within the European context, whereas collaborative HRM bundles do not have a significant influence on firm performance. This finding made the researchers conclude that delivering bundles of HR practices is insufficient per se because these bundles play a marginal role in terms of explaining the overall performance of an organisation.
A seminal study investigating the causal associations between commitment-based HR practices, different typologies of innovation activities and organisational innovativeness found that a commitment-based HR bundle has a positive and significant impact on process, organisational, and marketing innovation activities of firms within the Turkish context; however, this particular study found an indirect impact of the commitment-oriented HRM bundle on the performance and competitiveness of firms (Ceylan 2013).
Here, it should be noted that the “benefits of commitment-based HR practices are to provide career development and long-term growth opportunities, and to increase group motivation and social interactions” (Ceylan 2013, p. 211). In a study focussed on examining the level to which the configuration of HRM practices in bundles and the interactions among them impacts manufacturing performance outcomes across the Uruguayan manufacturing industry, Bello-Pintado (2015) found that only the motivation-enhancing HR bundle (job security, internal promotion, high-performance compensation, and formal performance evaluation) has a significant main effect on manufacturing outcomes in terms of improving performance on its own and also enhancing the effects of other bundles of practices to improve performance.
Since other bundles of practices were dependent on the motivation-enhancing bundle to improve performance outcomes of firms in the manufacturing sector, Bello-Pintado (2015) concluded the study by underscoring the need for firms to start the design of a HRM system by implementing or adopting a configuration of HRM practices aimed at motivating workers.
Research on HRM and Organisational Change
Research is consistent that organisations can develop the capacity to unlock leverage for sustainable change and competitive advantage by understanding HR as an organisational system rather than single practices (Molineux 2013). Understanding HRM as a “system” or “bundle” of HR practices, according to this author, helps organisations to undertake successful change initiatives by virtue of assisting them to concurrently exploit the capability for complementarities or synergies among the HR practices contained in the bundle in an effort aimed at implementing their competitive strategy through the change process.
In this line of research, Gomes et al. (2012) argue that the implementation of HRM using the systems approach influences not only the ability of employees to perform but also improves their motivation and commitment toward the organisation. It is important to note that employee motivation and commitment are key in organisational change initiatives as they reduce employee turnover (Chang & Wang 2014), improve employee task performance during the change process (Banker 2012; Gomes et al. 2012), and trigger a positive cultural change in the organisation (Teng & Yazdanifard 2015).
The importance of employee commitment and motivation during the organisational change process is further reinforced by Molineux (2013, p. 1594), who notes that the initial momentum of large-scale organisational change ultimately “decelerates because of internal forces related to management’s inability to gain employee commitment and then maintain it over the long haul.” Consequently, in a change management context, it is important to use bundles of HRM practices that change the norms of employee behaviour towards becoming more committed to and motivated by the strategic objectives of the organisation in the change process (Gomes et al. 2012; Langley et al. 2013).
There are a few studies focussed on investigating the importance of HRM systems in implementing organisational change. One particular study targeting an agency within the Australian public sector found that a large-scale cultural change was sustained within the agency through the systematic application of SHRM in terms of systems or bundles of HR practices (Molineux 2013). In their study, Fuchs and Prouska (2014) found that organisations that made use of HRM practices reinforcing organisational support and employee change participation were more able to deal with the vagrancies associated with organisational change than organisations with no such practices.
Cheng and Wang (2014) applied the promising process-based approach (the notion that organisational workers may not respond to the HR practices directly and passively, but instead actively perceive, recognise, conceive, judge, and reason about HR practices in mental processes before taking action) to SHRM to examine the relationship between 2 typologies of HR attributions (commitment-focussed and control-focussed HR attributions) and 2 important employee outcomes (turnover intention and task performance) in an organisational change context in China.
These authors found that commitment-focussed HR attributions were positively correlated with perceived organisational support during times of change and that control-focussed HR attributions were negatively correlated with perceived organisational support. Here, it is important to make the distinction that commitment-focussed HR attributions imply that workers perceive the intended objectives of HR practices to be the improvement of work quality and employee wellbeing in organisational settings, while control-focussed HR attributions imply the perception of employees that the intended objectives of HR practices are to minimise costs and exploit employees.
Summary and Justification
The literature consulted so far demonstrates a positive relationship between the adoption of “bundles” or “systems” of HR practices and positive organisational outcomes in performance, productivity, innovation and competitiveness. Most of the literature sources reviewed categorise bundles of HRM into three main groups, namely ability-enhancing HR practices, motivation-enhancing HR practices, and opportunity-enhancing HR practices.
It is clear from the reviewed literature that the uniqueness of each organisation in terms of job modes, structure, culture, as well as strategic and administrative context should inform the adoption of HRM bundles with the view to ensuring that only those practices that reinforce the particular business context and strategy of the organisation are implemented.
Additionally, it is clear that the motivation-enhancing HR bundle encompassing practices such as job security, internal promotion, high-performance compensation and formal performance evaluation has been found by many researchers to have the highest effects in terms of improving organisational performance, productivity and competitiveness. Lastly, the change management literature reviewed has underscored the importance of employee motivation and commitment in undertaking organisational change initiatives by virtue of their capacity to reduce employee turnover, improve employee task performance during the change process, and trigger a positive cultural change within the organisation.
Based on the literature reviewed, it is justifiable to focus the proposed study on motivation-enhancing HR practices due to their centrality in triggering positive employee outcomes in the process of change, particularly in terms of reducing turnover, reinforcing organisational support, and enhancing employee task performance. As suggested in the literature, motivation-enhancing HR practices include job security, internal promotion, high-performance compensation, and formal performance evaluation.
Research Aim and Objectives
The proposed study aims to empirically examine the level to which the configuration of HRM practices in bundles impacts change management processes in a service sector context in the name of Qatar National Bank. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:
- To investigate the relationship between bundles of motivation-enhancing HR practices and employee turnover intentions in change management situations at the bank;
- To investigate the relationship between bundles of motivation-enhancing HR practices and perceived organisational support in change management situations at the bank; and
- To establish if bundles of motivation-enhancing HR practices lead to increased employee task performance in change management situations at the bank.
Research Questions and Justification
The proposed study will aim to provide responses to the following research questions, all of which are related to the topic of HRM bundles and change management processes:
- RQ1: Does the bundles of motivation-enhancing HR practices adopted by Qatar National Bank enable the organisation to reduce employee turnover during organisational change processes?
- RQ2: Is there a positive relationship between bundles of motivation-enhancing HR practices and perceived organisational support by employees of the bank during organisational change processes?
- RQ3: What is the relationship between motivation-enhancing HR practices implemented by Qatar National Bank and employee task performance during organisational change processes?
The justification for the above objectives and research questions is nested on the fact that most of the literature sources consulted in this proposal have underscored the importance of motivation-enhancing HR practices in achieving organisational performance, productivity, innovativeness, and competitiveness.
The literature sources reviewed have also highlighted the importance of the components of motivation and commitment in organisational change initiatives in terms of reducing employee turnover, improving employee task performance, reinforcing perceptions of organisational support among employees, and stimulating a positive cultural change in the organisation. Consequently, the developed objectives and research questions are instrumental in examining if these outcomes can be replicated in a service sector industry located within the Arab context.
The proposed research study with employ the positivism research paradigm to empirically examine the level to which the configuration of HRM practices in bundles impacts change management processes in Qatar National Bank. Positivism, according to Creswell (2014), provides the groundwork for traditional scientific methods that are anchored on objectivity and precision in quantitatively investigating the phenomena of interest.
The justification for assuming this philosophical stance is embedded its capacity to enable the researcher to realise the accurate, valid and absolute truth about the issues of interest through the means of grounding the research study on objectivity gained from the use of empirical data (Bryman & Bell 2008). Additionally, the positivism research stance will enable the researcher to not only use various statistical techniques to generate results, but also to address the issue of replicability of study findings to wider contexts.
The aim of the proposed research study and the type of data to be collected warrants the researcher to use a quantitative research approach with the view to investigating the various issues of interest as demonstrated in the research questions section. Quantitative research, according to Creswell (2014), consists of a systematic examination which makes use of computational tools and techniques with the view to providing responses to questions that may pertain to the relationship between and among variables of interest to the study.
Drawing from this elaboration, it is evident that the quantitative research approach not only has fixed rules in the context of gathering and analysing data but is also heavily dependent on mathematics and statistics to analyse the quantitative data collected from the field. The justification for using the quantitative research approach is embedded in its capacity to enable the researcher to investigate the relationship between the independent variable (motivation-enhancing HR practices) and the selected dependent variables (employee turnover, perceived organisational support, and employee task performance).
Moreover, the quantitative approach will allow the researcher to reduce the independent and dependent variables to numerical values that could then be utilised to undertake comprehensive statistical analyses with the view to determining the relationships between these dimensions in the context of generalisable causal effects (Gelo, Braakmann & Benetka 2008; Yilmaz 2013).
The proposed study will use a descriptive survey research design by virtue of the fact that the sampled participants will be contacted at a fixed point in time to collect important data on the level to which the configuration of HRM practices in bundles impacts change management processes in Qatar National Bank. According to Welford, Murphy and Casey (2012, p. 34), “a survey provides a numerical description of trends, attitudes or opinions of a population by studying a sample of the research population.”
In survey research, the design, population, sample, and choice of instrumentation are predetermined by the researcher before going to the field to collect data through the use of questionnaire schedules or structured interviews. The justifications for using the survey research design in the proposed study are two-fold: First, this research design will provide the researcher with the capacity to use a standardised survey questionnaire with the view to generating quantitative descriptions of important aspects of the studied population through assessing the relationships between variables (Creswell 2014).
The second justification is embedded in the fact that the selected research design will enable the researcher to develop numeric descriptions of attitudes and opinions on bundles of HRM practices that could be easily generalised to the whole population based on the fact that the data generated from the sample are based on real-world observations (Sekaran 2006).
Population and Sampling
In the proposed study, the target population will comprise employees of Qatar National Bank working in various branches of the institution. Employees are better placed to provide their own perceptions of the effect of motivation-enhancing HR practices implemented by their employer in assisting them to overcome the challenges posed by organisational change initiatives. In sampling, the researcher will liaise with the managers of 20 local branches of Qatar National Bank enrolled using the random sampling procedure to select a sample of 200 employees (10 employees in each branch) for participation in the study. The employees will be selected using the convenience sampling strategy, with the main considerations for inclusion into the study being as follows:
- Must be formally employed by Qatar National Bank for a period of not less than three years;
- Must be 18 years or older to ensure proper understanding of the questionnaire items;
- Must be citizens of Qatar to enable the researcher to demonstrate country-specific variations in the practice of the bundled approach to HRM, and;
- May be of both genders and willing to participate in the study.
The convenience sampling strategy is selected not only because of its capacity to provide the researcher with the leeway to choose the most readily available participants to take part in the study, but also due to its ease of administration and capability to collect pertinent information which may be difficult to collect using probability sampling techniques (Sekaran 2006).
A structured, online-based, self-administered questionnaire instrument comprising Lickert-type questions (1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree) will be used to collect field data from the participants. Questionnaires, according to Harrell and Bradley (2009, p. 6), are basically “fixed sets of questions that can be administered by paper and pencil, as a Web form, or by an interviewer who follows a strict script.”
The justifications for using the structured questionnaires to collect data include
- the capacity to contact a large number of participants at a relatively low cost, which in turn ensures that the study findings can be generalised to a wider setting,
- the capacity to reach more people spread across a wide geographic location, hence saving on time and cost considerations,
- the demonstrated capability to reduce bias which is often associated with researcher characteristics and variability in interviewer skills,
- the capacity to provide a high degree of anonymity to study participants due to the absence of the interviewer in the actual completion of the questionnaire instruments (Fowler 2008; Polonsky & Waller 2010).
The researcher intends to use IBM SPSS (version 22) to analyse resulting data from the field using descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics will be used not only because of their capacity to collect, organise, and compare huge quantities of discreet categorical and continuous non-discreet data in a more manageable way, but also due to their inclination to identify with ease discreet or finite categorical variables, including the participants’ sex, age, and descriptive perceptions regarding the bundled approach to HRM and organisational change (Trieman 2008). Depending on the normality of the arising data, inferential statistics (ANOVA for normally distributed data and nonparametric tests for data non-normally distributed data) will be used to not only demonstrate the relationship between variables of interest, but also to test the significance of the relationships and whether these associations occur by design or chance (Runyon 2010).
The table next page (Table 1) provides a general outline of the timetable that the researcher intends to use to undertake the dissertation project. Although the timelines may vary depending on unplanned external factors, it is expected that the developed outline will guide the research process to its successful completion.
The table in page 24 (Table 2) provides a general outline of the resources expected to be used in the research process and their estimated costs. The researcher will make a focussed attempt to seek for funding from various foundations and other institutional bodies that fund such endeavours.
Table 2: Resource Plan for Dissertation Project
|Undertaking field tests to develop a validated questionnaire||$1,000|
|Purchasing SPSS licence for data analysis||$300|
|Dissertational editing services and professional typing||$200|
|Communication costs with bank branch managers to schedule the data collection exercise||$500|
|Professional binding of the final dissertation||$50|
|Miscellaneous (unseen) costs||$500|
|Total estimated cost||$3,550|
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