The Communication in Business Organization
Oftentimes, both parties in business settings, or within the family and society, do not understand each other and end up in conflict. This has been a common situation when there is a lack of effective communication. Sometimes, the employees become unsatisfied with their jobs because they are not able to relay to their supervisors their needs. At the other end of the spectrum, the boss gets mad when things related to the job are not clear to him because he is not able to have first-hand knowledge of the operations in the company.
It may appear simple and easy to deal with, but in reality, simple cases can trigger setbacks and problems. Communication, or the lack of it, can definitely make or break the business organization. Thus, effective communication is an important part of company operations.
Communication is one of the important functions that an organization can’t do without. A company which wants to stay on business must rely a lot on communication.
For this reason alone, companies spend large sums of money making sure that communication operations are smooth. Time and again, communication’s importance is seen from the stories of organizations which succeed in their venture.
Communication is a simple means to survive. Even during the ancient era, people communicated through words and symbols and actions. And for most of their lives, people communicate. One can accomplish many things through the simple act of communicating. Not investing in and prioritizing communication in the business setting might as well be an end for business organizations.
The importance of effective communication cannot be overemphasized. Countless studies have delved into the intricate patterns of communication within an organizational context. Effective communication can benefit the whole organization more than the people can realize as it can pushes the organization towards a more advanced state that considers both the organization and their customers.
The word communication comes from a Latin verb ‘communicare,’ which is also related to the Latin word ‘communis,’ which means ‘common’. ‘Communicare’ means ‘to share’ or ‘to make common.’ Thus, communication is literally to share knowledge and to make this knowledge common (Rosengren, 2000).
Communication is an interaction between individuals or group of individuals. It includes sharing of information, ideas and views, and feelings and emotions between the people communicating. Communication not only includes spoken words but written words, gestures, expression and anything people do that convey meaning as well. The process of communication can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional communication means that the message is purposely sent by the sender. On the other hand, unintentional communication is done usually by gestures or movements or anything that a receiver may decode a meaning. This means the sender of the message does not purposely send the message to the receiver (Rosengren, 2000).
Communication also takes forms and types based on several factors. These factors are the media that the communicators use, and the style of the communication. These factors intertwine with each other. They are recognized as classifications of communications to better understand the forms and types of communication (Rosengren, 2000).
Classifications of Communication
The first classification is based on the media used by the sender. These are verbal and non-verbal communication (Manohar, 2008).
The verbal communication is subdivided into oral and written communication. Oral communication is referring to spoken communication process. It can be either face-to-face, or a conversation over the phone or over a voice in the internet. The oral communication is greatly affected by the pitch, voice modulation, volume and speed and clarity of the speech. The high pitch as well as the high volume can be characterized by anger or stress on vital information. Additionally, there are other ways on how to convey the meaning of spoken words. It conveys emotions of the speaker which helps in understanding the message. In the contrary, sometimes these emotions can be easily misunderstood by listeners or receivers (Manohar, 2008).
The other classification of verbal communication is the written communication. Written communication refers to everything that is done through mail. It can be mail passed hand-to-hand, snail mail, or electronic mail. The effectiveness of the of the written communication rely on the style on how it is written, the words used, grammatical structure, clarity of sentences and precision of the language used. The assertiveness level of the written communication is minimal since it conveys little emotions and tends to be misunderstood if the message is written poorly (Manohar, 2008).
The non-verbal type of communication deals with the general body languages of a person speaking. This includes hand gestures, body movements, facial expression, and body posture. It may also be in the form of reports, visual aids, presentations, sign boards, pictures, paintings, and photographs. These are included in this classification since it conveys emotions and message from the maker of these objects (Manohar, 2008).
The other type of classification of communication is based on the style or purpose of the sender. The style of communication refers to the preciseness and straightforwardness of the communication. These two are the formal and the informal communication. Formal communication is the type of communication which takes place in formal environment. This usually includes business meetings and corporate meetings. It also includes court hearings and organization meetings where people communicate officially. Formal communication is very straightforward, official, and very precise on the message (Manohar, 2008).
The informal communication basically refers to the communication that takes place in between units who share a casual rapport. It usually occurs between family and friends. It does not have guidelines or rules. It makes use of slang words and abbreviated terms. It does not have rules on time, place or subjects. It can start anytime and end anytime. Its subject is anything the communicators wish to talk about (Manohar, 2008).
Importance of Communication
The importance of communication in a human’s daily life becomes more evident as people come to age. But a person starts communicating as early as during infancy. This person in his infancy or this baby communicates by giving out facial expressions or crying. The baby’s action is to inform people around him that he is feeling something. A crying baby could mean that he is hungry or his diaper is wet. People around the baby who hear him crying then figure out what the baby wanted to tell them. Evidently, a baby cannot communicate well because of his limited experience and understanding. As he comes to age, he must learn how to effectively communicate. Effective communication with other people results to wider knowledge and understanding. Additionally, effective communication builds up relationships between communicators (Rosengren, 2000).
Inside homes, communication is a major component that holds the relationship close between household members. Lesser communication tends to weaken the hold and create gaps between household members. The more frequent household members communicate the more they understand each other’s feelings. The bonds that are created within a household are very vital for a person’s life. It shapes the personality and attitude of members and it also hones the values in a family. These attitudes and personality of household members are what they carry outside their homes. Hence it also affects the overall relationship of the household with other households in the society. This relationship between households dictates the upbringing of the society as a whole (Rosengren, 2000).
The importance of effective communication inside a home is basically the same in an organizational setting. It is because the organization is also made up of people who needed to communicate well. The difference between a family and an organization is the style of communication. This is because inside the households, members communicate closely and casually. They usually make use of spoken words and they rarely use other media of communication. While in an organization, the communication is more formal and makes use of a variety of media. But basically the importance of communication is similar even though in an organization it is needed to be more concise and clear because of some constraints. Additionally, an organization has goals at hand which the members needed to complete in a period of time (King, 2007).
A communication in business organization is more complex than in other settings because of several reasons. One is it consists of more people, especially larger corporations, than a household or an ordinary organization. Second is the need of completing the goal at hand in an efficient way is greater. Third, the cost of communication is closely monitored and needed to be minimal. Thus, effective communication is more important in a business organization (King, 2007).
Process of Communication
The process of communication is done by human being beings since childhood. The very process is seemingly very complex and prone to errors due to some barriers that people need to overcome to be able to effectively communicate. The process is then put in to models such as sender-encode-channel or media- decode-receiver. It is said that every step of this model has a great amount of potential error which greatly affects the message being sent (Sanchez, n.d.).
The sender can be an individual, group or an organization that starts the process of communication. The sender is the conveyor of the message and the one that encodes the message into a channel or media. The sender decides on the content of the original message. In this stage of communication the content of the original message is affected by the sender’s experiences, attitudes, knowledge, skill, perceptions, and cultural background. The original message is thus changed to some extent. The change is based on the feelings and emotions of the sender (Sanchez, n.d.).
The encoding is the part of communication where the sender put the message in forms of symbols and language, and chooses the appropriate medium. This includes putting the message into words or writing and other complimentary messages the sender may convey with the original message. The encoding step chooses an appropriate language from the receiver to decode it. It includes the consideration of the receiver’s understanding and knowledge. This process is also subjected to a wide variety of potential errors. These errors can be associated with the language used, the words chosen and the structure of the sentences since they all can affect the meaning of the original message (Sanchez, n.d.).
After encoding the message the sender uses a medium or channel for transmitting the message. The medium plays a very important role since it carries the encoded from the sender to the receiver. The medium used to convey the message can also change the meaning of the message. For example, the speech media includes the pitch and volume of the voice. Since pitch and volume carries its own meaning, when incorporated with message, the message tells more than the encoded message (Sanchez, n.d.).
Over the years, human beings have used a variety of media to communicate. People in the Stone Age is said to communicate using sounds and body languages like other animals do. As time goes by, human beings have developed many ways on how to communicate. People have learned verbal languages, symbols and other primitive measures. Nowadays, people communicate through email, radio signals, electronic signals, and other highly advanced media aside from the conventional media. Beside the development of communication media, people have not yet abandoned some conventional ways to communicate such as the radio (Rosengren, 2000).
Choosing the appropriate medium for communication is a very important matter because an appropriate medium can change or even alter the message. It may cause the message not to reach the intended receivers or the message may be delivered to the wrong receivers. There are some factors that affect the decision of the sender in choosing the appropriate media. One is the intended receivers. Second is the number of receivers. Third is the nature of the message. And lastly is the cost of the medium (Rosengren, 2000).
The first one to consider in choosing the right medium for communication is the nature of the intended receivers. Considering this will help the sender to reach intended receivers faster and more efficient. It will also minimize situations where the message reaches the wrong receivers. Personal or face-to-face communication is the most commonly used media since it is economical, practical and it conveys a clearer channel for the message. Other communication media like the telephone sometimes have difficulties passing the message. The difficulty of the communication comes when the telephone is not working or the line is broken (Rosengren, 2000).
The second thing to consider is the number of receivers. It is evident to use a microphone or a megaphone to communicate to a large number people since it will be difficult to use the natural voice. Governments and business organizations when communicating with their consumers use advertisements and large billboards. They place it where the public can clearly see or read so that the message is transmitted in a more effective manner (Rosengren, 2000).
Third is the nature of the message. The nature of the message refers to the confidentiality of the message. Government officials usually use secured telephone line to prevent the leakage of the information. It is so since the leakage can cause damage to the society or the official himself. Many people use confidential channels for their confidential messages (Rosengren, 2000).
The last is the cost of the medium. Many people or organization, especially the companies and corporations which minimize the cost of their operations, would choose a cheaper medium. The economical aspect and availability of the medium is greatly considered as people and organizations always wanted to minimize their cost (Rosengren, 2000).
The decoding step of the communication is conducted by the receiver. The receiver tries to give meaning to the sender’s message. The receiver analyzes and examines the message of the sender based on his own experience. An effective communication is measured when the receiver correctly understands the message. The error begins when the sender and the receiver do not share a common understanding on the topic of the message. The receiver consequently interprets the message incorrectly. An error can also occur when the receiver has a different language or has a different meaning to the symbols used in the message (Sanchez, n.d.).
The last step is the receiver. The receiver is the individual or group of individuals to whom the message is intended for. The receiver’s comprehension of the message is measured by the knowledge of the topic of the message, the attitude of the receiver, the experience, and the relationship of the sender and receiver (Sanchez, n.d.).
Another step can emerge in some communication processes. This is the feedback. It refers to the response of the receiver to the message. It may take any form such as a sigh, a smile or a shrug. It is a way for the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the communication. If the communication is ineffective as the feedback dictates, the sender can send another message clarifying the previous message. Through this way the communication can be more effective (Sanchez, n.d.).
Barriers to Communication
There are several barriers that hinder effective communication. These barriers are present everywhere. Additionally, these barriers are sometimes inevitable but can be overcome by choosing the appropriate medium of communication (Garner, n.d.).
The first barrier is the physical barriers. Physical barriers are physical factors such as distance, lack of choice media, and the difference in status of the communicators. These barriers can be overcome by practicing and studying the proper styles of communication (Garner, n.d.).
The second barrier is perceptual barriers. The perceptual barriers are the factors that include the differences in experience, ideas about a topic and others that affect the perception of the communicators. These barriers can be overcome by practicing effective communication skills (Garner, n.d.).
The third barrier is emotional barriers. The emotional barriers refer to the emotional situations of the sender and the receiver. Emotional conflict between communicators tends to lessen the effectiveness of the communication. Also, people tend to forget their communication skills when they are experiencing an emotional stress (Garner, n.d.).
The fourth barrier is cultural barriers. The cultural barriers are basically the differences in culture among communicators. Different cultures tend to induce different values and ideas. Consequently, the communicators would have conflicts on views and arguments about the topic of the communication (Garner, n.d.).
The fifth barrier is the language barrier. The language difficulty occurs when the communicators do not the share a common language or do not share the same primary language. The language difference means words and symbols used by the sender to encode the message have a different meaning to the receiver (Garner, n.d.).
The next barrier is gender barriers. The gender barrier refers to the difference in the vocabulary of a male and a female. There is also a difference in the way the brains of the male and female compose a message (Garner, n.d.).
The last barrier is the interpersonal barriers. The interpersonal barriers are the attitudes of the sender and receiver. Some people distance themselves from other people for personal reasons. One reason could be the close relationship of the sender to the receiver. It can also be because of the shyness of the person. There are some other reasons why people distance themselves from the other people (Garner, n.d.).
Communication in Business
Communication has an important role in the business organizations. Communication gives way to collaboration and cooperation between members of the organizational structure. It also gives way to communication with other business organizations to achieve a common goal. It hones the bonding between members which in time will increase productivity (King, 2007).
Communication between departments of the business organization can be used as an example. The finance department sends financial reports to the operations department. Without these financial reports, the operations of the department would be blind if they spend too much money or they spend less. The operations will not be monitored. Thus, the company is more likely to fall since the cost of operations is not optimized (King, 2007).
Another example is the communication between the employer and employees. This is important because it gives a way for the employer to hear feedbacks from the employees. This feedback is essential to optimize the management of the business organization. It is also a way to get information about the needs of the employees to increase their productivity and job satisfaction (King, 2007).
Nowadays, communication inside the business organization goes through various media. The various media used in business organization increases the need to sharpen communication skills. Many business organizations spent billions of dollars in communication to increase the efficiency of their operations. This proves that business organizations prioritize and have high concerns for communication (King, 2007).
There are several reasons why good communication is good for business. First reason is that ineffective communication is very expensive. A message in an ineffective communication needs to be repeated several times before it is understood or before the receiver gives up. The communication process has a basic cost. The repetition of the process without achieving the objective of delivering the right message is very uneconomical (Blalock, 2005).
The second reason is that in the 21st century, the work process becomes more complex. Communication becomes more important as the work process of business organizations becomes more complex. Additionally, growing organizations involve more people so effective communication is needed to be established to mend this difficulty. Since more people are involved in the business organization, the diversity of people becomes broader and effective communication can cure the differences in ideas and views. Collaboration of ideas from a diverse environment tends to have a better result but the result depends solely on how well organization communicates (Blalock, 2005).
The third reason on why effective communication is good for business is the world’s economy is now global. For this reason, business organization needs effective communication to communicate with their clients and consumers. The better the communication, the better chance the business has in the world market. Since globalization is at hand, the distance between consumers and manufacturers has widened. The market of business organizations expanded and they needed effective advertising measures to inform consumers of their products. The globalization forces business organizations to venture outside of their host country to cope up with their competitors. They needed effective communication skills to get a large part of the market (Blalock, 2005).
Categories of Communication
William King has classified organizational communication into three different categories. These are upward communication, downward communication, and dyadic communication. The upward communication occurs in a business organization that comes from the lower levels to the managerial level. This includes reports in a certain task, feedback to the management, and other issues which needed to be brought to the attention of the manager (King, 2007).
The downward communication is a message coming from the upper levels to the lower levels of the business organization. These include memorandums, orders, instructions and other things that the managerial level needs to consult with employees in the lower level. The dyadic communication is the category that refers to the communication between peers. It is more casual and informal. It includes information and idea exchanges between employees. It can be gossip and other topic which employees talk about unrecorded (King, 2007).
These three categories needed effective communication to better understand the information or message being sent. Ineffective communication in these categories can create chaos within the organization. For example, the manager gives an instruction and the employee does not understand the instruction because it is not specific enough. The employee may do something different from what the manager wants to be done. When the employee reports to the manager of the work he has done, the manager may issue another instruction to repeat the work. Thus, what the employee initially does is a waste of time and resources (King, 2007).
Advantages of Effective Communication in Business
An effective communication proves to be more advantageous for any business organization. There are several basic advantages that will be discussed.
The first advantage when business organizations use effective communication is that they get more of what they want. When there is an effective communication inside the business organization, members understand each other very well and they respond quickly to the message. A department, for example, communicates well with other departments. This department always gets what it needed in order to function smoothly and efficiently because other departments quickly respond to its query. Additionally, if a department communicates well, other departments automatically help it on what it needs to achieve its goals. This also applies on individual employees inside the business organization. Thus, members, departments, and companies in a group of companies, tend to help each other if they have proper understanding of each other. This understanding can only come from effective communication (Endres, 2009).
Another advantage is that other members of the business organizations respond positively with each other. Members have more confidence and thus increase their productivity. Additionally, they also feel comfortable with each other. The organization is given a boost of progress. The operations of the company will run smoothly, giving it an advantage over other competing organizations (Endres, 2009).
The third advantage is that members of the business organizations understand the work process more. The more an employee understands the work process, the lesser he needs help from other members. This eventually increases the overall productivity of the business. Consequently, differences in the business will be minimized and eventually eliminated (Endres, 2009).
The fourth advantage is that there will be peace and harmony inside the organizations. Since most conflicts come from misunderstandings, effective communication eliminates conflicts among members. This eliminates the waste of time and resources when a conflict of ideas and views arise. Even if the conflict arises, the conflict will be resolved because of the good understanding that members have with each other (Endres, 2009).
Another advantage is the increase of motivation among employees. The increase of motivation comes from the understanding of each other’s ideas and views. The respect between members motivates everyone to work harder. Additionally, the help a member gives to another member which is a result of effective communication gives good inspiration. And good motivation comes from a good and effective communication (Endres, 2009).
Furthermore, effective communication leads to a good relationship between members of the business organizations. Good harmonious relationships induce good working relationships. The good relationship makes the organization stable. Even if the business goes through hard times, the organization will still be stable. The business will still flourish since the employees are very highly motivated and they work well together (Endres, 2009).
The next advantage is that members will learn to be good communicators. Members can conduct negotiations with other business organizations, consumers and clients which benefit the business as a whole. Members will improve their questioning ability to improve queries within or outside the organization. It will result to better exchange of information. It will also result to better service to the consumers. This is because the inquiries the business makes are the basis of the development of the product (Endres, 2009).
Another advantage is the business organization can set a certain idea about a topic. This idea is adopted by other people outside the organization. This is because of the effective communication skills of members of the business organization. When members of this organization are armed with the collective idea of the whole organization, the idea is passed on to the outsiders. And then the outsiders adopt the idea according to their needs because they understand it fully (Endres, 2009).
The Effects of Ineffective Communication in Business
Ineffective communication has its bad effects on the business organization and to its members. In a business organization, the lack of effective communication can cause the business to crumble. The departments or the teams inside the business will not operate well since they are made for the purpose of better communication. A purpose which is not served is not a purpose at all. The departments will be seemingly non-existent (Rosengren, 2000).
There are several results of ineffective communication. There are effects in ineffective internal and external communication. The results may vary according to the nature of the miscommunication and nature of the audience or receiver of the message (Rosengren, 2000).
Ineffective internal communication can cause lots of money and time, breakdown of relationships and possibly a problem with finances. The waste of money and time is due to repeated process of communication. Since the message is not understood, the receiver would need the respond differently from what is expected. Thus, the process of communication is repeated until the message is understood or the sender receives a desirable response from the receiver. This costs time and resources which the business organization can use in other purposes (Rosengren, 2000).
Ineffective communication inside the business organization can break bonds among members. This may result from the inefficient flow of information within the organization. It may also result to more incidents of miscommunication. Additionally, more conflicts of ideas and views will arise which hinder the smooth operation of the business. And the conflicts may push to confrontations which greatly decrease the morale of the organization as a whole (Rosengren, 2000).
Another result could be the failure of the finances of the business organization. Ineffective communication between members of the organization means reports and memos are not understood well. The operations will not be optimized, causing the business to spend more than necessary. It causes the business to waste resources on nothing. The excessive lost of money causes the business to crumble financially which eventually breaks it down (Rosengren, 2000).
As for the external communication or the communication outside the business organization, the effects of ineffective communication may affect the response of consumers. It can affect the reputation of the business. The business reputation is very important because it measures the popularity of the business and the perception of others about the organization. Good reputation means that the organization looks good on the eyes of the consumer and other organizations. This induces trust for the business’ products and services. Investors tend to trust the organization with their money. But with bad reputation the organization will lose sales and investments. People will not trust the products as well as services offered by the organization. This may eventually result to the closing of the business (Rosengren, 2000).
Businesses that Needs Effective Communication
There are certain business organizations that badly need effective communication. These organizations are mainly involved in the advertising, manufacturing, and trade.
These organizations need to concentrate on their effective communication to maximize their market and profits. The lack of proper ways of communication may cause the business to close and lose customers and clients (Rosengren, 2000).
In the advertising industry, effective communication with the clients and consumers is very vital to the success of the business operations. Additionally, advertising is a form of communication with the public. Effective communication with clients gives a clear understanding of what the client wants. It is very important for business ventures in advertising to understand clearly what their client wants. It is also essential that they understand what the product’s target market is and what it is for. Since the advertising business does relay information from the client to the public, the organization must be efficient in dealing with its clients. Additionally, failure to understand the clients’ request will mean the repetition of proposal which costs a lot of money. And if the clients are satisfied with the work, they are likely to keep coming for other advertising needs. It builds the trust of the clients. Moreover, when an advertising business has effective communicating capabilities, it will attract the buyers for the product or service that the organization offers (Rosengren, 2000).
Effective communication is also vital in the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing business’ success relies greatly on communication. The manufacturing process needs proper communication with customers and employees. Effective communication with employees leads to a good relationship within the business. The employees consequently produce more which is very desirable for the manufacturing business. Since one of the objectives of the manufacturers is to produce more with lower cost, effective communication helps them in achieving this objective. Good communication with clients and customers results to efficient deliveries of orders and it helps the business to optimize their product to meet the market needs. For example, a client orders twenty boxes of toys. The management addresses the delivering department to process the order. Without proper communication channels, the order processing may be delayed and it may also result to wrong processing. The time spent processing the order and the goods will be wasted if the delivering department does not receive the order right. The client will eventually subscribe to other manufacturers. Additionally, the lost of money and client sales will cause the business to weaken until the problem is resolved or until the business is closed (Rosengren, 2000).
In the trade industry, effective communication is the best tool to get customers and to attend to their needs. A business organization venturing in the trade industry needed effective communication to negotiate prices, delivery service, and to get clients from other countries. The trade industry utilizes communication to lessen the cost of travel for business meetings because clients are usually miles away from their offices. Additionally, orders are usually sent through the internet or phones. Moreover, trade businesses usually have satellite offices around the world for better communication with their clients. But these satellite offices are also needed to communicate with the main office to report progress, to send orders and to inquire issues concerning the business. Effective communication deals with everything that the business needs. And it helps the organization to efficiently process orders and to optimize the services and products of the business organization (Rosengren, 2000).
Businesses in these industries needed effective communication to its fullest since their entire operation depends on it. But more business organizations need effective organization because the world economy is at its phase of globalization. Additionally, businesses need to adapt to modern technology to cope up with this change. The globalization pushes business to venture to modern technology to lower the cost of operation and communicate to a larger market. One technology that business organization utilizes to expand their market base is the World Wide Web. Since billions of people surf the internet everyday, business organizations see this as an opportunity to advertise and to sell their products to the consumers all over the world. Effective communication is very vital to these businesses since dealing with millions of customers over the internet is a very hard thing to do. Without effective communication, these business organizations will fail to serve their clients. Consequently, the organization will have a bad reputation. This bad reputation will reach every potential consumer in the Internet. It will greatly affect sales and potential sales since most internet buyers will not trust your product (Rosengren, 2000)
Generally, effective communication is very important for human operations. It may be inside a family, outside the street or in a business organization. The importance of effective communication is evident for the success in every aspect of life. Communication may vary in form, style, types, and categories. But it only aims at one thing: understanding between the sender and receiver. It is to create a common knowledge between them. Even though there are barriers and hindrances in communication, people should always learn how to communicate well or there will be misunderstanding and conflict.
Additionally, the importance of effective communication inside the business organization is the foundation of its success. Managers need to require every member to hone their communication skills because of the growing demand in the industry. Moreover, they should provide more mediums or channels for the members and other people to effectively communicate. The utilization of the modern technology will greatly help the members of the business organizations to communicate with more consumers and clients. Moreover, members need to have effective communication skills to help the company grow and prosper. Thus, effective communication is an important instrument to achieve success.
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Endress, P. (2009). Advantages of Effective Communication. Retrieved March 30, 2009, from http://www.maximumadvantage.com/advantages-of-effective-communication.html
Garner, E. (n.d.). Seven Barriers to Great Communication. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.hodu.com/barriers.shtml
King, W. (2007). Importance Of Communication In Organization. Retrieved March 28, 2009, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Importance-Of-Communication-In Organization&id=563763
Manohar, U. (2008). Types of Communication. Retrieved March 28, 2009, from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-communication.html
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