If you have no GPOs that conflict anywhere in your Scope of Management (SOM), they will apply cumulatively. However, if you have a GPO which says to do one specific thing at, say, the Domain level, and another GPO which says to do a specific thing at, say, the OU level, the one closer to the user (or computer) will apply. So, heres a simple example: You restrict the control panel at the domain level, but at the OU level you make it available. Since the GPO linked to the OU is closer to the target account, that is the setting that will take effect.
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