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The four horsemen of power at the bargaining table

Adam D. Galinsky (Columbia University, New York, New York, USA)
Michael Schaerer (INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France)
Joe C. Magee (New York University, New York, New York, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




This paper aims to identify and discuss four major sources of power in negotiations.


The four sources of power are alternatives, information, status and social capital. Each of these sources of power can enhance a negotiator’s likelihood of obtaining their ideal outcome because power allows negotiators to be more confident and proactive, and it shields them from the bargaining tactics of their opponents.

Practical implications

The paper discusses how negotiators can utilize each source of power to improve their negotiation outcomes.


The paper provides a parsimonious definition of power in negotiations, identifies the four major sources of negotiator powers and highlights two pathways by which power affects negotiation outcomes.



Galinsky, A.D., Schaerer, M. and Magee, J.C. (2017), "The four horsemen of power at the bargaining table", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 606-611.



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