The Benefits of Dominance Complementarity in Negotiations

  • Scott Wiltermuth
  • Larissa Z. Tiedens
  • Margaret Neale


We investigated whether dominance complementarity can lead people to reach mutually beneficial outcomes in negotiations by increasing the likelihood that they will successfully coordinate the exchange of information. We suggest that negotiators who differ in how dominantly they behave in the negotiation exchange information effectively because they fulfill different roles in the negotiation process. Study 1 demonstrated that dominant negotiators generally assert their desires, while relatively submissive negotiators generally ask questions to find ways to satisfy their own desires without escalating conflict with the dominant negotiators. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that participants were best able to discover integrative agreements when one negotiator was instructed to behave dominantly and the other negotiator, submissively. Improved information exchange mediated the relationship between dominance complementarity and improved joint outcomes in Study 3.

Keywords: power, coordination, negotiation, complementarity, dominance

How to Cite:

Wiltermuth, S. & Tiedens, L. & Neale, M., (2015) “The Benefits of Dominance Complementarity in Negotiations”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 8(3), 194-209. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
27 Jul 2015
Peer Reviewed