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Alison Fragale - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Alison Fragale Alison Fragale

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School | UNC-Chapel Hill


Alison Fragale studies power, status and influence in organizations and conflict resolution and negotiation.






Interview with Alison Fragale - UNC Kenan-Flagler. Alison Fragale on effective negotiation strategies The First Mover Advantage: Alison Fragale




Alison Fragale studies the determinants and consequences of power, status and influence in organizations, conflict resolution and negotiation, and verbal and nonverbal communication.

An award-winning teacher, Dr. Fragale teaches courses on effective leadership and negotiation skills to undergraduates, graduate students and executives.

She has taught or consulted on leadership and negotiation for executives in numerous organizations, including ExxonMobil, Bayer CropScience, Eastman, the National Multi-Housing Council, AvalonBay, Post Properties, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.

Her research has appeared in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Dr. Fragale worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, Inc. Based in Chicago, she advised numerous companies in the automotive and financial services industries on issues of corporate strategy and change management.

Industry Expertise (7)


Management Consulting

Program Development


Corporate Training

Corporate Leadership

Talent Management

Areas of Expertise (5)




Conflict and Negotiation

Power and Leadership

Education (2)

Stanford University Graduate School of Business: Ph.D., Organizational Behavior 2004

Dartmouth College: B.A., Mathematics and Economics 1997

Affiliations (5)

  • Academy of Management
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Social Psychological and Personality Science Editorial Board
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Editorial Board
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College Board of Visitors

Media Appearances (5)

How This Entrepreneur Used a Family Recipe to Land a Cush Deal with Sephora

Inc.  print


"We do things for people we like," says Alison Fragale, an associate professor of organizational behavior at University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. So try to physically meet your opponent before you negotiate. Mere exposure, she says, can go a long way--and the interaction doesn't even have to be positive to have a good effect.

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The Art of Negotiating: How to Make Every Deal a Win-Win

Business.com  online


Use “anchoring” to your advantage, argues Alison R. Fragale, Ph.D., a professor of organizational behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. In a blog post for the school’s online MBA degree program, she notes that opening negotiations with an offer as close as possible to the other party’s acceptable level can help you avoid a “too reasonable” offer that leaves money on the table...

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Why Workers Are Deferential to Colleagues—but Not to Bosses

The Wall Street Journal  online


In an analysis of hundreds of corporate emails, Alison R. Fragale, associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, concluded that employees hedge, use disclaimers and soften their language with their peers more than they do with workers higher in rank...

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Why Girls Get Called Bossy, and How to Avoid It

The Huffington Post  online


We react very differently when power is exercised by high-status and low-status people. In a pair of clever experiments, researchers Alison Fragale, Jennifer Overbeck and Maggie Neale show that when people with high status also possess power, we perceive them as dominant, but also warm. We hold them in high regard, so we're willing to follow their commands. When the same commands come from people who lack status, we judge them as dominant and cold. Since they haven't earned our respect, they don't have the right to tell us what to do...

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Why Workers Defer to Coworkers More Than Their Boss

Shape  online


A recent study found that employees tend to be much more deferential to their peers than their bosses. By that, researchers mean that employees hedge, soften their language, and use disclaimers more around colleagues of the same rank than they do with their bosses. Lead researcher Alison R. Fragale says that one possible explanation is that when there is no clear hierarchy, employees want to avoid conflict...

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Articles (6)

Busy brains, boasters’ gains: Self-promotion effectiveness depends on audiences cognitive resources

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Fragale and Adam Grant propose that self-promotion effectiveness depends on the audience's cognitive resources. When audiences are cognitively busy, they are more likely to misattribute the source of promoting information, and thus fail to penalize self-promoters for violating norms of politeness and modesty. Thus, self-promoters are perceived as more communal, and granted more status, when audiences are cognitively busy.

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The higher they are, the harder they fall: The effects of wrongdoer status on observer punishment recommendations and intentionality attributions

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

2009 In two studies, we explore whether the status of a wrongdoer affects observers' attributions for the wrongdoer's actions and opinions about the wrongdoer's deserved punishment. We find that observers attribute greater intentionality to the actions of high status wrongdoers ...

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Power dynamics in negotiation

Academy of Management Review

2005 Power is widely acknowledged to affect negotiator performance. Yet few efforts have been made to integrate the most prominent theories of power into a cohesive framework that can account for the results from a broad array of negotiation-relevant ...

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Choosing the path to bargaining power: an empirical comparison of BATNAs and contributions in negotiation

Journal of Applied Psychology

2005 Although the negotiations literature identifies a variety of approaches for improving one's power position, the relative benefits of these approaches remain largely unexplored. The empirical study presented in this article begins to address this issue by ...

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Evolving informational credentials: The (mis) attribution of believable facts to credible sources

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

2004 Three studies demonstrate that individuals often rely on a “belief force equals credible source” heuristic to make source judgments, wherein they assume that statements they believe originate from credible sources. In Study 1, participants who were exposed to ...

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Power moves: Complementarity in dominant and submissive nonverbal behavior

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

2003 Two studies examine complementarity (vs. mimicry) of dominant and submissive nonverbal behaviors. In the first study, participants interacted with a confederate who displayed either dominance (through postural expansion) or submission (through postural ...

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