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Dyadic Power Profiles: Power-Contingent Strategies for Value Creation in Negotiation


Mara Olekalns; e-mail:


Using a simulated employment negotiation, we tested the conditional relationships among dyadic power profiles (symmetric high, symmetric low, and asymmetric), the choice and sequencing of strategies, and value creation. We showed that negotiators in symmetric high, symmetric low, and asymmetric power dyads took distinctly different paths to value creation. Value creation was associated with increased mutual accommodation in high-power dyads but with increased contentiousness in low-power dyads. Asymmetric power dyads maximized value creation when they adopted a neutral stance, neither overusing nor underusing any one strategy. Although strategy use was a better predictor of value creation than strategy sequencing, sequences played an increasingly important role in value creation as the level of total power within the negotiation increased.