Consider the five-person network in the figure below, where only pairwise deals can be made. In other words, node/person d can make a deal with c or e, but not both.

Experimental research shows that b and d have high bargaining power, whereas a, c and e have low power. But why would node c have lower bargaining power when it has as many trading partners as b and d? The reason is simple: b and d have partner nodes that are in a weak position (have no other bargaining options) – an advantage that c does not benefit from. For example, b could want to do business with c, but it is in a strong position with a. So it gets a to drop its price, which it can then take to c as ‘proof’ of the market price. A powerful network is therefore not always who you know, but where you are placed.

Reference: Borgatti, S.P., Mehra, A., Brass, D.J. and Labianca, G. 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science, 323(5916):892-895.