Handbook of Research on Negotiation
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Handbook of Research on Negotiation

Edited by Mara Olekalns and Wendi L. Adair

Leading international scholars give insight into both the factors known to shape negotiation and the questions that we need to answer as we strive to deepen our understanding of the negotiation process. This Handbook provides analyses of the negotiation process from four distinct perspectives: negotiators’ cognition and emotion, social processes and social inferences, communication processes, and complex negotiations, covering trade, peace, environment, and crisis negotiations.
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Chapter 6: Power, status, and influence in negotiation

Jennifer R. Overbeck and Yoo Kyoung Kim


Negotiation is a process in which two or more people must reach agreement on how to divide some resource, when they have different preferences for how to do so. Given this, it is no surprise that influence is a fundamental element of negotiation, nor that both parties tend to want and seek influence over the counterpart in negotiation. This chapter will focus on two primary sources of influence: power and status. Power is a source of influence from objective, structural sources such as possession of resources or position in networks of relationships; status is a source of influence stemming from others’ consensual judgments (Fiske and Berdahl, 2007; Fragale et al., 2011). Though power has (and will be) the focus of work on influence in negotiation, both are important and both are considered here. We turn first to power. One of the earliest definitions of power was, in essence, the ability to get what you want (Russell, 1938). Russell noted that the most basic form of power is physical force: using the threat or imposition of pain, even death, to compel compliance.

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