Beyond negotiated outcomes: The hidden costs of anger expression in dyadic negotiation

Lu Wang, Gregory B. Northcraft, Gerben A. Van Kleef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on the hidden costs of expressing anger in negotiations. Two experimental studies show that an opponent's expression of anger can elicit both concessionary and retaliatory responses by focal negotiators. In the first study, equal-power negotiators exhibited overt concessionary behaviors when their opponents expressed anger, but also sabotaged their opponents covertly. Feelings of mistreatment mediated the relationship between opponents' anger expression and focal negotiators' covert retaliation. In the second study, low-power negotiators made larger concessions when high-power opponents expressed anger, but they retaliated covertly against high-power negotiators. High-power negotiators were overtly demanding (and not concessionary) regardless of whether or not the opponent expressed anger, but also retaliated covertly against low-power opponents who expressed anger. The two studies suggest that the value-claiming advantages of expressed anger need to be weighed against the costs of eliciting (covert) retaliation. We discuss implications of the findings and provide recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Anger expression
  • Interactional justice
  • Negotiation
  • Retaliation
  • Value claiming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond negotiated outcomes: The hidden costs of anger expression in dyadic negotiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this