This is a theoretical article that integrates and extends a particular program of work on power in bargaining relationships. Power is conceptualized as a structurally based capability, and power use as tactical action falling within either conciliatory or hostile categories. The core propositions are (1) the greater the total amount of power in a relationship, the greater the use of conciliatory tactics and the lower the use of hostile tactics; and (2) an unequal power relationship fosters more use of hostile tactics and less use of conciliatory tactics than an equal power relationship. Distinct research on power dependence and bilateral deterrence provides support for both propositions. Implications are discussed for power struggle in ongoing relationships.
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