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Q: Personal Loyalties vs. Institutional Loyalties and Organizational Behavior ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Personal Loyalties vs. Institutional Loyalties and Organizational Behavior
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: jimmyho-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 23 Oct 2004 08:04 PDT
Expires: 22 Nov 2004 07:04 PST
Question ID: 418923
I'm doing a literature survey on what causes people to behave in
certain ways when their loyalties conflict. I'm at a loss for
literature on the subject so I'm asking for help finding online papers
and dissertations on the subject. Basically personal loyalty is
loyalty to a person or your own small group while insitutional loyalty
is loyalty to the overall company or organization. For example, if a
big mistake happens and the some big boss comes by and asks you why,
you could tell the truth, which is that your department, or an
individual in that department, screwed up, and thus, help the overall
company make corrections to make things better. Or you can stay loyal
to that friend or your department and cover up the mistake. Other
situations include whistle-blower situations, favoritism vs. fairness,
rivalries and politics between internal groups sabotaging the overall
goals of the organization as a whole, cult-of-personalities, etc. etc.

Basically, what I'm looking for are credible research papers that talk
about how people become more or less loyal to the people around them.
Apparently, there is lots of literature in the business world that
discusses *institutional* loyalty, which include the usual things
about employee benefits, salaries, retention issues, etc.  I'm not
looking for that. What I am looking for are studies and papers about
*personal* loyalties, and how that is fostered, sometimes in conflict
to institutional loyalty.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 23 Oct 2004 08:25 PDT

I think you're right...there doesn't appear to ba a whole lot that
directly addresses your topic.  But there are at least a few
possibilities, such as:

Personal loyalty to superiors in public service. 
Examines issues relating to loyalty in the organizational context.
Background to the idea of loyalty; Reasons why personal loyalty to
superiors cannot be included in the same category as loyalty to God;
Discussion on the loyalty to the ideals of public service as the
primary source of moral order in organizations; Problematic nature of
organizational loyalty; Conflicting views of personal loyalty

Social Indentity And The Problem of Loyalty In Knowledge-Intensive Companies.
This paper treats the significance of organization-based social
identity for loyalty versus exit reactions with special reference to
knowledge-intensive companies....The paper discusses different kinds
of and modes of accomplishing loyalty and also addresses post-exit
management, how companies may deal with employees that have left the

The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model.
Two qualitative studies examined the processes leading to the
formation of breakaway organizations, which result when groups leave
existing organizations to form new organizations. In the first study,
analysis of interviews at 11 organizations in which group exit
occurred revealed that the process unfolded in six stages: relative
harmony, idea development, change, resistance, intense conflict, and
exit. Five trigger events--introduction of conflicting ideas,
legitimizing them, alarm, polarization of views, and
justification--moved the participants through the group exit process.
Study 2, conducted in three organizations in which group exit was
avoided, revealed a trigger harmonizing event instead of a
polarization event and a final dissonant harmony stage, instead of
exit. Implications for the exit/voice/loyalty/neglect paradigm, the
group studies literature, and organization theory in general are

Dual Loyalty and Human Rights.  
Discusses issues concerning human rights and dual loyalty in the
health care industry. Guidelines and institutional mechanisms for the
prevention of complicity by health professionals in human rights
violation; Lack of awareness of the relevance of human rights to
clinical and community practice; Problem of dual loyalty at a
systematic level


Do these look like they're on the right track?

If so, I could probably rustle up a few more like these, and provide
full citations for them.  Would that work as an answer for your

Let me know.


Clarification of Question by jimmyho-ga on 23 Oct 2004 14:40 PDT
With regards to the prior clarification, the offers you make aren't
the most ideal, but I really like the one regarding "Personal loyalty
to superiors in public service." Also, the Dual Loyalty and Breakaway
Organizations articles sound intersting as well. So sure, why not.
Rustle up some citations and we should be all set.
Subject: Re: Personal Loyalties vs. Institutional Loyalties and Organizational Behavior
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 23 Oct 2004 19:40 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again, Jimmy.

Thanks for getting back to me on this.

Like I said earlier, there doesn't appear to be a huge body of
literature that really hits the nail on the head in terms of your
specific topic.  But there's a lot written on corporate loyalty in
general, and I've picked out a few articles to highlight below that
seem particularly germane.  Two articles struck me as especially apt,
and I've also provided some excerpts from these so you can get a bit
more of the flavor (I cant' reproduce them in full, obviously, since
they are copyrighted).

Before rating this answer, please let me know if you need any
additional information.   Just post a Request for Clarification and
I'll be happy to assist you further.



Personal loyalty to superiors in public service. 
By: Souryal, Sam S.; McKay, Brian W.. 
Criminal Justice Ethics, Summer/Fall96, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p44, 19p

[This was sumarized above...what follows are some excerpts from the paper]


In 1993 the journal Criminal Justice Ethics took a major step toward
clarifying a topic which, despite its deep roots, has proven
conceptually elusive. In the journal's winter/spring issue, several
scholars were engaged to reflect on the hermeneutics of loyalty
developed in George P. Fletcher's book Loyalty: An Essay on the
Morality of Relationships.[2] The symposium made a welcome
contribution to our understanding of "the conceptual and moral
underpinnings of loyalty, to whom it is owed, and at what price."[3]
....Yet there are several issues that the symposium ignored, or simply
glossed over. First is the issue of workers' loyalty to superiors and
administrators at the workplace. It was not made clear whether public
servants owed any loyalty to the person of superiors and, if so, under
what circumstances, and at what price. Second, the symposiasts
repeatedly referred to loyalty and disloyalty as though they were
antitheses. We do not agree, since a dichotomy in this context can
exist only if two conditions are satisfied: (a) loyalty to the person
of superiors is necessary within the broader subordinate-superior
relationship (that is, without the former, the latter cannot be), and
(b) workers are either legally or morally prohibited from being
impartial--that is, neither loyal nor disloyal--with respect to the
person of the superior. Third, with the exception of Richards' essay
on "Loyalty and the Police," there was little mention of loyalty in an
organizational context, arguably the one context that can most
graphically expose the "conceptual and moral underpinnings" of loyalty
in action. The core of this article comprises an examination of these
and other issues relating to loyalty in the organizational context...

...Our intention is not to apply a wrecking ball to the ideal of
loyalty--to God, country, family, spouse, friends, or even superiors
if both parties agree to keep friendship or mentorship at the core of
their relationship. Our intention, rather, is to call attention to the
unique vulnerability of loyalty to the person of superiors in the
organizational context. It is our contention that personal loyalty to
superiors cannot be included in the same category as loyalty to God,
to principles, to family and friends. We advance several reasons: (1)
Workers have little, if any, choice in whom their superiors are; they
consequently may have little, if any, personal feeling for them. (2)
Many superiors in public agencies may not be worthy objects of
loyalty; indeed some management styles are conducive to creating
distrust and hostility. (3) Unquestioned submission to superiors can
endanger the interests of third parties, in particular, segments of an
unsuspecting public. (4) Loyalty to God, principles, family, and
friends is considered essential for the maintenance of a good life,
but personal loyalty to superiors is not particularly necessary to the
achievement of public good. (5) The harm to society that results from
loyalty to superiors is greater than the benefits gained from it since
harm to society is likely to damage many people for a long period of
time. For instance, supporting a mayor or a sheriff in formulating
unfair policy, solely out of loyalty, may allow officials to inflict
undue harm on an entire population of people (such as a class of
citizens, an interest group, a profession, a district, or a

The Main Contention 

...Our main contention is with the fallacious belief that
subordinates, by virtue of their status, are naturally obligated, or
otherwise compelled, to cater to the arbitrary desires of their
superiors. Though we support institutional loyalty, especially
Fletcher's notions of loyalty upon "entering the organization" by
having to comply with its formal rules, and loyalty through
"identification with the organization" by having to support its
mission, we find loyalty to the person of superiors intrinsically
alarming. Furthermore, we find it incongruous that civil servants in a
democratic society are so unnerved that they willingly support such a
baseless belief, and so defenseless that they are easily compelled if
they resist....

The Culture of Personal Loyalty to Superiors 

...Belief in personal loyalty to superiors is culturally embedded? It
dates as far back as the inception of organized government. In
modern-day institutions, the belief continues to be taken for granted.
As a case in point, Kleinig reports a prominent New York City official
declaring to middle-level city managers that when he makes an
appointment he looks for two things: loyalty and competence, in that
order. What was notable about that encounter, however, was not what he
said, but that the statement was "not at all troubling to those who
were present."[14] Its ethically problematic character seemed to
escape their attention. Kleinig also reports the blunt reactions of a
former assistant chief of the New York City Police Department: "When
an organization wants you to do right, it asks for your integrity;
when it wants you to do wrong, it demands your loyalty."[15] Reference
to organizations in that context should by no means distract from our
focus on personal loyalty since the former is the natural environment
of the latter....

The Problematic Nature of Organizational Loyalty 

...Understanding the concept of personal loyalty can be complex.
Blamires likens loyalty to an intoxicant when he states, "we breathe
the word loyalty and immediately a sentimental warmth floods our
minds."[25] Fletcher stresses loyalty's natural bias since "by
definition, [it] generates interest, partiality, an identification
with the object of one's loyalty rather than with its
competitors."[26] Furthermore, since personal loyalty in an
organizational setting invariably takes place between individuals who
must cooperate with one another on a temporary basis, we must assume
that personal loyalty manifests itself in multiple configurations,
simultaneous and changing. Moreover, because the number of loyalties
any employee can have is limited (since the value of each loyalty may
appreciate in proportion to its exclusivity), shifting loyalties at
the workplace must be a practical necessity.

...Multiple personal loyalties at the workplace operate in
configurations similar to those of a social physics. They constitute
forces which form and reform, contingent on the extent of the
sacrifices employees are willing to make and the gains they expect to
realize by switching to other objects of loyalty. Sacrifices in this
context are basically associated with job stability, positional power,
and organizational convenience, and gains are in terms of autonomy,
personal growth, and economic rewards. As in social physics, personal
loyalty configurations at the workplace change in response to
exogenous forces--for example, the hiring of a new boss, an agency
reorganization plan, or a major policy update.

...The decision to switch personal loyalty is typically based on the
employee's determination of what can be done to secure, to enhance, or
to balance his/her standing with superiors and co-workers. This is
especially so when "circumstances are too inconvenient, too costly, or
contrary to some private vision of how things should be."[27] In this
sense, one worker's exhilaration in switching loyalty to a benevolent
supervisor may be equal to another worker's relief in switching away
from an enslaving one.

A Final Word
...Until the issue of loyalty in the workplace is openly addressed,
government ethics will continue to suffer and the newly instituted
federal and state "ethics commissions" will remain largely symbolic.
It borders on absurdity to believe that workers would choose to
"faithfully uphold" an ethical standard if at the same time they
recognize that no amount of ethical conduct could protect their
careers against an arbitrary accusation of disloyalty. Such an
accusation constitutes a coup de grace which renders any worker
defenseless; it can be neither staved off nor appealed to a higher
authority. Nevertheless, managerial myth continues to advocate that
personal loyalty is an indisputable virtue, one that every employee
must display or, at least, pretend to.

...It is our prediction that personal loyalty in the organizational
context will continue as long as superiors cannot give up the mistaken
premise that their survival hinges upon the protection that AIC offers
them. In the meantime, moral workers will continue to suffer from a
clash of loyalties that they never anticipated. Faced with a
politicized environment and an adverse subculture, most public workers
will eventually succumb to institutional desperation. Ironically, it
may be just that sense of desperation combined, perhaps, with a faint
trust in newly enacted whistle-blowing laws, which may empower workers
publicly to expose the dilemma of personal loyalty to superiors in
public service. We are equally concerned that intensified demands for
personal loyalty at the workplace may irremediably stunt the conduct
of good government. Such demands, we fear, will undermine the workers'
sense of accountability and transform their moral sense into
indifference and cynicism.

[Some of the references cited in the above passages are]:

1 Max Weber, quoted in D. WRONG, MAX WEBER 3 (1970). 


3 Kleinig, Symposium: Editor's Introduction, 12 CRAM. JUST. ETHICS, 34
(Winter/Spring 1993).

4 Pettit, The Paradox of Loyalty, 25 AM. PHIL. Q. 163 (1988). 

5 Kleinig, Loyalty and Public Service, THE PUBLIC INTEREST 2 (1994


Social Indentity And The Problem of Loyalty In Knowledge-Intensive Companies. 
Alvesson, Mats. 
Journal of Management Studies, Dec2000, Vol. 37 Issue 8, p1101

This paper treats the significance of organization-based social
identity for loyalty versus exit reactions with special reference to
knowledge-intensive companies. The centrality of network relations and
close contact with clients in combination with the sometimes drastic
consequences of knowledge workers defecting in many
knowledge-intensive companies makes social identification and loyalty
crucial themes for management. The paper discusses different kinds of
and modes of accomplishing loyalty...


The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model.
Dyck, Bruno; Starke, Frederick A.. 
Administrative Science Quarterly, Dec99, Vol. 44 Issue 4, p792

Two qualitative studies examined the processes leading to the
formation of breakaway organizations, which result when groups leave
existing organizations to form new organizations. In the first study,
analysis of interviews at 11 organizations in which group exit
occurred revealed that the process unfolded in six stages: relative
harmony, idea development, change, resistance, intense conflict, and
exit.  Five trigger events--introduction of conflicting ideas,
legitimizing them, alarm, polarization of views, and
justification--moved the participants through the group exit
process...  Implications for the exit/voice/loyalty/neglect paradigm,
the group studies literature, and organization theory in general are


Dual Loyalty and Human Rights. 
Rubenstein, Leonard S.. 
Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, Jul-Sep2003, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p270

Discusses issues concerning human rights and dual loyalty in the
health care industry. Guidelines and institutional mechanisms for the
prevention of complicity by health professionals in human rights
violation; Lack of awareness of the relevance of human rights to
clinical and community practice; Problem of dual loyalty at a
systematic level


Exit, voice and loyalty in the course of corporate governance and
counsel's changing role.
Journal of Socio-Economics, 1999, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p203

Striking changes in the norms and practices of corporate governance
have occurred since the 1980s. Corporate directors have become more
independent and diligent and institutional investors have become more
activist. If we apply Albert O. Hirschman's insights about the
interactions of exit, voice and loyalty, we find that over-reliance on
exit as the remedy of choice of shareholders failed to discipline and
educate managers effectively. After the wave of hostile takeovers, the
extent of management failure became apparent and the increased power
of voice was an important factor in accelerating changes in conduct
and norms. The new Team Production Model is useful in describing how
public corporations are increasingly being governed. The model helps
to explain why corporate boards should function as independent
arbitrators among the corporate constituents that have invested in the
entity. Mechanisms to increase stakeholder voice and loyalty can help
the board function effectively and may increase both efficiency and
fairness.... The role of corporate counsel, as co-agent with corporate
management, and having an independent fiduciary duty to the entity and
not its management, is essential to assist the corporate board in
meeting its obligations within the Team Production Model....

Book Reviews. [A number of books reviewed regarding divided loyalties]
Journal of Law & Society, Sep2003, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p453

Books reviewed: Jean L. Cohen, Regulating Intimacy: A New Legal
Paradigm Robert A. Kagan, Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of
Law John McLaren, Robert Menzies, and Dorothy E. Chunn (eds.),
Regulating Lives Susan Shapiro, Tangled Loyalties: Conflict of
Interest in Legal Practice


Ethical Beliefs and Management Behaviour: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. 
Jackson, Terence; Artola, Marian Calafell. 
Journal of Business Ethics, Aug97, Vol. 16 Issue 11, p1163

A cross-cultural empirical study is reported in this article which
looks at ethical beliefs and behaviours among French and German
managers, and compares this with previous studies of U.S. and Israeli
managers using a similar questionnaire. Comparisons are made between
what managers say they believe, and what they do... Significant
differences are found, for both individual managers by nationality,
and for companies by nationality of parents, in the area of
'organizational loyalty'... However, no significant differences are
found for measures for 'group loyalty', 'conflict between
organizational and group loyalty' and for 'conflicts between self and
group/organization'. The findings have implications for cross-border
management decision strategies regarding such issues as receiving and
giving of gifts, and the management of relations between local
employees and international organizations which may be affected by
differences in attitude to corporate loyalty.


'It's just like a family'--shared values in the family firm.
Haugh, H.M.; McKee, L.. 
Community, Work & Family, Aug2003, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p141

This article uses the concept of organisational culture and shared
values as a means of analysing the internal operating environment of
four smaller firms, each of which has a family dimension to its
ownership and management. The shared values of a sense of belonging,
honesty, loyalty, trust and respect were pieced together from multiple
data sources during a 12-month ethnographic study...The family culture
was found to be universal in only one of the firms studied. In the
other three firms, the alignment to the values of the family culture
served to differentiate between an inner team and peripheral
employees. The criteria for membership of the inner team is through
alignment to the shared values of the family culture and in this way
the inner team in each of the three firms includes family members,
some (but not all) supervisory staff, and friends of other members.
The contribution of the article is to identify specifically the shared
values that underpin the family culture...


We Aren't All Free Agents. 
Samuelson, Robert J.. 
Newsweek, 06/14/99, Vol. 133 Issue 24, p47

Comments on corporate loyalty and the myth of its demise. Sociological
theorizing that has accompanied popular culture acceptance of the
concept of employees as free agents, including `The Corrosion of
Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism,'
by Richard Sennett...Reasons why corporate loyalty seems dead


The logic and limits of `plant loyalty': Black workers, white labor,
and corporate racial.
Street, Paul. 
Journal of Social History, Spring96, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p659

Focuses on black workers' initial resistance to unionization in
Chicago, Illinois, from 1916 to 1940. Consequence for both the labor
movement and race relations; Experience, consciousness and
self-activity of Black packinghouse workers; Discussion on the term
plant loyalty...


Loyalty in the Age of Downsizing
Stroh, Linda K.; Reilly, Anne H.. 
Sloan Management Review, Summer97, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p83

A disturbing trend taking place in many corporations involves the
decline of employee loyalty associated with the dramatic downsizing...
the psychological contract between manager and organization has been
broken. No longer can organizations guarantee lifetime employment to
committed managers. In response, many managers have adopted what's
commonly called a 'free agent' strategy--employees taking personal
responsibility for managing the terms of their future employment.
Research suggests that managers who proactively manage their careers
may advance more quickly and more adequately fulfill their career
aspirations than managers who passively let their organizations manage
their careers. The question then becomes does loyalty get transferred
from one organization to another...


People and their organizations: Rethinking the assumptions.
McKendall, Marie A.; Margulis, Stephen T.. 
Business Horizons, Nov/Dec95, Vol. 38 Issue 6, p21 

Focuses on the relationship between people and organizations.
Historical background; Loyalty and commitment  [excerpts follow]


...The interaction of people and organizations has been a subject of
writing and study for about 100 years. In the early twentieth century,
the relationship was openly acknowledged to be utilitarian. The
company's goal was to secure maximum work efficiency and profits; the
worker's goal was to receive maximum financial reimbursement.

...During the second half of the century, however, the role of the
organization was redefined. Buoyed by an expansionist economy and
encouraged by a growing attention to the psychology of employees,
firms increasingly took on human characteristics. A great variety of
benefits offered by U.S. corporations--including medical, dental,
life, and retirement insurance--encouraged employees to view their
firm as the Great Provider, and a strong element of paternalism
emerged. Employees began to assume that, at least in part, the role of
an organization was to take care of those it employed. In return,
employees were to be trustworthy and reliable workers, placing
corporate interests above personal ones when necessary.

...Encouraged by popular writers, and aided by peoples' natural needs
and desires, the view of company as family, community, or benefactor
continued largely unabated through the 1970s and 1980s. Corporate
cultures built on the notion of a reciprocal personal relationship
were designed to elicit emotional attachment to the firm. As one
personnel manager stated, "My job is to marry them to the company"
(Kunda 1992). Companies portrayed themselves as imbued with strong
values and desirous of mutual caring, dependency, and respect with
those they employed. To cement this bond, they began to employ a
"language of loyalty," which included oft-heard metaphors of family,
marriage, religion, team, partners, and associates.

...It was widely assumed that the commitment and loyalty employees
felt toward their firms yielded universally positive outcomes.
Managers were admonished to take a lesson from the Japanese and learn
how to create "a strong tie that will bind an employee to his company"
(Logan 1984). Lewicki (1981) offered a model of how to seduce
organizational members into a commitment, declaring that "the more
dedicated and loyal members are to an organization, the harder they
are willing to work for it and the more stress they are willing to
endure on its behalf." An article in Fortune heralded a "new age for
business" in which the profit motive would no longer be paramount and
corporations would be places full of "love and caring" (Rose 1990).


...Organizational commitment and loyalty can produce important
behavioral outcomes for firms. Although research results are complex,
commitment has been cited as a correlate of a wide range of effective
employee behaviors and is a mechanism through which employee behavior
can be controlled. First--and most strikingly--studies have shown that
organizational commitment is one of the strongest predictors of
turnover and absenteeism. Committed people do not leave their
organizations, either temporarily or permanently.

...Second, identifying with one's company is associated with high
levels of organizational citizenship behavior. People who are
committed to a firm give generously of themselves and are willing to
engage in self-sacrifice on its behalf. Fostering commitment may
therefore allow companies to demand extra effort from their employees
more easily.


...Though serving corporate purposes, envisioning a business
organization as a human entity engaged in a reciprocally committed
relationship with employees involves several mistaken notions.
Consequently, it has created unintended consequences.

...The major problem with the notion of loyalty and commitment between
organizations and their employees is that such an ideology ignores the
reality of organizational purpose in a capitalistic society. Several
decades ago, Etzioni differentiated between normative and utilitarian
organizations. The latter, he said, are based on a remunerative
arrangement, and the employees' response is generally instrumental or
calculative. By contrast, normative organizations control their
members by creating a moral orientation to the firm. It is not the
employee's work or efforts but rite employee's self that is claimed in
the name of the corporate interest. Although Etzioni categorized
businesses as utilitarian, managing employees through value-laden
corporate cultures and norms of reciprocity represents an attempt to
elicit a moral and emotional commitment.

...Such a focus denies the purpose of a business. Corporations are not
self-sacrificing entities whose role is to take care of and protect
their "children." They are not human beings with hearts, minds, or
souls, and although loyalty may be beneficial in social relationships,
one cannot have a social relationship with an organization. The fact
remains that corporations are artificial entities with utilitarian
ends, no matter what values may be superimposed upon them. Their
purpose is to produce a profit, their final responsibility is to their
stockholders, and their survival rests on fulfilling those


I hope I have chosen wisely enough to meet your needs.  As I said
earlier, just holler if I can be of any further assistance.

All the best,


search strategy:  Searched several academic literature databasess for:

"institutional loyalty" and conflict

and variations of the same, that substituted "company loyalty" and
"corporate loyalty"

Request for Answer Clarification by jimmyho-ga on 23 Oct 2004 22:45 PDT
Thanks. Given the scarcity of literature on the subject, I think
you've done quite well. There are at least two or three articles in
there that look very promising, and couple of others that look
somewhat promising. I should mention that I'm collaborating with a
team on this school project, and this team is spread out
geographically. If you have web links that can take me electronic
copies of some or all of these articles, that would be greatly
appreciated. You don't necessarily need to point me to the exact
article; just pointing me to the home website of the journal
publication or something similar would be sufficient. If the website
is easy to look up, then it's not a big deal, but if it's somewhat
obscure, I'd love to get a URL to it.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 24 Oct 2004 11:29 PDT

Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad to hear the results look promising.

But as for links to the articles, that's a bit sticky.  The articles
themselves are not generally available on the web, unless one has
access to commercial databases like Proquest or JSTOR or Project Muse
and the like.  Many schools make such data sources available, so you
should definitely check with your school (ask the library) to see if
they have online data sources that your team could make use of.

Once you hook up to these, you should be able to find most of the
articles by searching on the title.

If you need any assistance tracking them down, just let me know what
databases you can access, and I'll be glad to help locate the articles

Hope that helps.  Good luck with your project...

jimmyho-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $4.00
Overall, a good answer to a hard question.

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