Social Justice Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 470-489

First online:

E-Mail Communication and Group Cooperation in Mixed Motive Contexts

  • Charles E. NaquinAffiliated withDepartment of Management, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University Email author 
  • , Terri R. KurtzbergAffiliated withRutgers Business School, Rutgers University
  • , Liuba Y. BelkinAffiliated withCollege of Business & Economics, Lehigh University

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Two empirical studies are presented that explore how and why e-mail communication (versus face-to-face communication) influences cooperation in mixed motive group contexts. Results indicate that, relative to those engaging in face-to-face interaction, those who interacted via e-mail were (1) less cooperative and (2) felt more justified in being noncooperative. Feelings of justification mediated the relationship between communication media and the decision to cooperate or not.


E-mail Cooperation Group work Decision-making Social dilemmas