Skip to main content

Mind the Medium: A Qualitative Analysis of Email Negotiation

Abstract

Using qualitative analysis of email transcripts, this research investigated the behavioral differences in more or less successful email negotiations. We hypothesized that proactive and reactive medium management, relationship building, positive and negative emotion transmission along with integrative and distributive behaviors would influence joint gain and subjective value in email negotiation dyads. The hypotheses were tested on simulated buyer-seller email negotiations (n = 52 dyads) from a US and a German university. Ordinary least squares regression revealed that value creating behaviors and the total amount of communication increased joint gain while reactive medium management decreased joint gain. Controlling for individual gain and individual target profit, negotiators’ global subjective value of the negotiation was negatively impacted by distributive negotiation behaviors and reactive medium management, as revealed by hierarchical linear modeling. Practical implications and future research are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. It is important to note that for multicollinearity reasons we did not include claim value and positive emotion transmission in the regression equation for joint gain. Thus, a strict formal test for these is missing. However, because those two variables’ correlations with joint gain are also insignificant (see Table 3), we are confident that they do not predict joint gain in our data.

References

  • Adair WL, Brett JM (2005) The negotiation dance: time, culture, and behavioral sequences in negotiation. Organ Sci 16(1):33–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allred KG, Mallozzi JS, Matsui F, Raia CP (1997) The influence of anger and compassion on negotiation performance. Organ Behav Hum Dec Process 70(3):175–187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ambrose E, Marshall D, Fynes B, Lynch D (2008) Communication media selection in buyer-supplier relationships. Int J Organ Prod Manage 28(4):360–379

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Banerjee M, Capozzoli M, McSweeney L, Sinha D (1999) Beyond kappa: a review of interrater agreement measures. can J Stat 27(1):3–23

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bakeman R, Gottman JM (1986) Observing interaction. Cambridge Universtiy Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Bazerman MH, Neale MA (1992) Negotiating rationally. Free Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Brewer MB (1979) In-group bias in the minimal intergroup situation: a cognitive-motivational analysis. Psychol Bull 86(2):307–324

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carlson JR, Zmud RW (1999) Channel expansion theory and the experiential nature of media richness perceptions. Acad Manage J 42(2):153–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clark HH, Brennan SE (1991) Grounding in Communication. In: Resnick LB, Levin JM, Teasley SD (eds) Perspectives on socially shared cognition. American Psychological Association, Washington D.C., pp 127–149

  • Croson RT (1999) Look at me when you say that: an electronic negotiation simulation. Simul Gaming 30(1):23–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Curhan JR, Elfenbein HA, Eisenkraft N (2010) The objective value of subjective value: a multi-round negotiation study. J Appl Soc Psychol 40(3):690–709

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Curhan JR, Elfenbein HA, Xu H (2006) What do people value when they negotiate? Mapping the domain of sujective value in negotiation. J Pers Soc Psychol 91:493–512

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Daft RL, Lengel RH (1984) Information richness: a new approach to managerial behavior and organization design. Res Organ Behav 6:191–233

    Google Scholar 

  • Daft RL, Lengel RH (1986) Organization information requirements, media richness, and structural design. Manage Sci 32(5):554–571

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis AR, Fuller RM, Valacich JS (2008) Media, tasks, and communication processes: A theory of media synchronicity. MIS Q 32(3):575–600

    Google Scholar 

  • Diamantopoulos A, Siguaw JA (2006) Formative versus reflective indicators in organizational measure development: a comparison and empirical illustration. Br J Manage 17(4):263–282. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00500.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drolet AL, Morris MW (2000) Rapport in conflict resolution: accounting for how face-to-face contact fosters mutual cooperation in mixed-motive conflicts. J Exp Soc Psychol 36(1):26–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Enders CK, Tofighi D (2007) Centering predictor variables in cross-sectional multilevel models: a new look at an old issue. Psychol Method 12(2):121–138. doi:10.1037/1082-989x.12.2.121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fisher R, Ury W, Patton B (1991) Getting to yes: negotiating agreement without giving in, 2nd edn. Penguin Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Frijda NH (1986) The emotions: studies in emotion and social interaction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedman RA, Currall SC (2003) E-mail escalation: dispute exacerbating elements of e-mail communication. Hum Relat 56:1325–1348

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Galin A, Gross M, Gosalker G (2007) E-negotiation versus face-to-face negotiation what has changed—if anything? Comput Hum Behav 23:787–797

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geiger I (2012) Media effects on the formation of negotiator satisfaction: the example of face-to-face and text based electronically mediated negotiations. Group Decis Negot 26:2012. doi:10.1007/s10726-012-9317-3

    Google Scholar 

  • Geiger I, Parlamis J (2014) Is there more to email negotiation than email? The role of email affinity. Comput Hum Behav 32:67–78. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.11.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gelman A, Hill J (2007) Data analysis using regression and multilevel, hierarchical models. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Godes D, Mayzlin D (2009) Firm-created word-of-mouth communication: evidence from a field test. Mark Sci 28(4):721–739. doi:10.1287/mksc.1080.0444

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Griessmair M, Koeszegi ST (2009) Exploring the cognitive-emotional fugue in electronic negotiations. Group Decis Negot 18:213–234

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hine MJ, Murphy SA, Weber M, Kersten G (2009) The role of emotion and language in dyadic e-negotiations. Group Decis Negot 18:193–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hollingshead AB, McGrath JE, O’Connor K (1993) Group task performance and communication technology: a longitudinal study of computer-mediated versus face-to-face work groups. Small Group Res 24(3):307–333

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hyder EB, Prietula MJ, Weingart LR (2000) Getting to best: efficiency versus optimality in negotiation. Cogn Sci 24(2):169–204. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog2402_1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kersten G, Zhang G (2003) Mining inspire data for determinants of successful internet negotiations. Cent Eur J Oper Res 11(3):297–316

    Google Scholar 

  • Koeszegi ST, Pesendorfer E, Vetschera R (2011) Data-driven phase analysis of e-negotiations: an exemplary study of synchronous and asynchronous negotiations. Group Decis Negot 20(4):385–410

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kopelman S, Rosette AS, Thompson L (2006) The three faces of eve: strategic displays of positive, negative, and neutral emotions in negotiations. Organ Behav Hum Dec Process 99(1):81–101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lax D, Sebenius J (1986) The manager as negotiator: bargaining for cooperation and competitive gain. Free Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Larson LL, Bussom RS, Vicars W, Jauch L (2007) Proactive versus reactive manager: Is the dichotomy realistic? J Mgt Stud 23(4):385–400

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Larson JT, McGraw AP, Cacioppo JT (2001) Can people feel happy and sad at the same time? J Soc Psychol 81(4):684–696

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewicki RJ, Barry B, Saunders DM (2010) Negotiation, 6th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Medvec VH, Galinsky AD (2005) Putting more on the table: how making multiple offers can increase the final value of the deal. HBS Negot Newsl 8(4):4–6

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore DA, Kurtzberg TR, Thompson LL, Morris MW (1999) Long and short routes to success in electronically mediated negotiations: group affilitations and good vibrations. Organ Behav Hum Dec Process 77(1):22–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris MW, Keltner D (2000) How emotions work: the social functions of emotional expressions in negotiations. Res Organ Behav 22:1–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morris M, Nadler J, Kurtzberg T, Thompson L (2002) Schmooze or lose: social friction and lubrication in e-mail negotiations. Group Dyn Theory Res Pract 6(1):89–100

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nadler J, Shestowsky D (2006) Negotiation, information technology, and the problem of the faceless other. In: Thompson LL (ed) Negotiation Theory and Research. Tyalor and Francis Group, New York, pp 145–172

    Google Scholar 

  • Naquin CE, Kurtzberg TR, Belkin LY (2010) The finer points of lying online: e-mail versus pen and paper. J Appl Psychol 95(2):387–394

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Naquin CE, Paulsen GD (2003) Online bargaining and interpersonal trust. J Appl Psychol 88(1):113–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nezlek JB (2001) Multilevel random coefficient analyses of event- and interval-contingent data in social and personality psychology research. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 27(7):771–785. doi:10.1177/0146167201277001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Olekalns M, Smith PL (2000) Understanding optimal outcomes. Hum Commun Res 24(4):528–556. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2000.tb00768.x

    Google Scholar 

  • Overbeck JR, Neale MA, Govan CL (2010) I feel, therefore you act: intrapersonal and interpersonal effects of emotion on negotiation as a function of social power. Organ Behav Hum Dec Process 112(2):126–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parlamis J, Ames D (2010) Face-to-face and email negotiations: a comparison of emotions, perceptions and outcomes. IACM 23rd annual conference paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1612871

  • Pesendorfer EM, Koeszegi S (2006) Hot versus cool behavioural styles in electronic negotiation: the impact of communication mode. Group Decis Negot 15(2):141–155. doi:10.1007/s10726-006-9025-y

  • Pesendorfer EM, Koeszegi S (2007) Social embeddedness in electronic negotiations. Group Decis Negot 16(4):399–415

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peugh JL, Enders CK (2005) Using the SPSS mixed procedure to fit cross-sectional and longitudinal multilevel models. Educ Psychol Meas 65(5):717–741. doi:10.1177/0013164405278558

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pruit DG (1981) Negotiation behavior. Academic Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Pruit DG, Lewis SA (1975) Development of integrative solutions in bilateral negotiation. J Pers Soc Psychol 31(4):621–633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Purdy JM, Nye P, Balakrishnan PV (2000) The impact of communication media on negotiation outcome. Int J Confl Manage 11(2):162–187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rubin JZ, Pruitt DG, Kim SH (1994) Social conflict: escalation, stalemate and settlement, 2nd edn. McGraw–Hill, New York

  • Schroth HA (2008) Some like it hot: teaching strategies for managing tactical versus genuine anger in negotiations. Negot Confl Manage Res 1(4):315–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sherif M, Harvey OJ, While BJ, Hood WR, Sherif CW (1961) Intergroup conflict and cooperation: the robbers cave experiment. University Book Exchange, Norman

    Google Scholar 

  • Sinaceur M, Tiedens LZ (2006) Get mad and get more than even: when and why anger expression is effective in negotiations. J Exp Soc Psychol 42:314–322

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sproull L, Kiesler S (1986) Reducing social context cues: electronic mail in organizational communication. Manage Sci 32:1492–1512

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stuhlmacher AF, Citera M (2005) Hostile behavior and profit in virtual negotiation: a meta-analysis. J Bus Psychol 20(1):69–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tajfel H, Billig M (1974) Familiarity and categorization in intergroup behavior. J Exp Soc Psychol 10: 159–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tajfel H, Turner J (1979) An integrative theory of intergroup conflikct. In: Austin WG, Worchel S (eds) The social psychology of intergroup relations. Brooks/Cole, Montery, pp 33–47

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson L (2012) The mind and heart of the negotiator, 5th edn. Pearson, Upper Saddle River

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson L, Hastie R (1990) Judgment tasks and biases in negotiation. In: Sheppard BH, Bazerman MH, Lewicki RJ (eds) Research on negotiation in organizations 1. JAI Press, Greenwich, pp 31–54

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson L, Nadler J (2002) Negotiating via information technology: theory and application. J Soc Issues 58(1):109–124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trevino LK, Lengel RH, Daft RL (1987) Media symbolism, media richness, and media choice in organizations: a symbolic interactionist perspective. Commun Res 14(5):553–574

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Turel O (2010) Interdependence issues in analyzing negotiation data. Group Decis Negot 19(2):111–125. doi:10.1007/s10726-008-9118-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Utz S (2007) Media use in long-distance friendships. Inf Commun Soc 10:693–712

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Kleef GA (2010) The emerging view of emotion as social information. Soc Pers Psychol Compass 4(5):331–343

  • Van Kleef GA, De Dreu CKW, Manstead ASR (2004a) The interpersonal effects of emotions in negotiations: a motivated information processing approach. J Pers Soc Psychol 87(4):510–528

  • Van Kleef GA, De Dreu CKW, Manstead ASR (2004b) The interpersonal effects of anger and happiness in negotiations. J Pers Soc Psychol 86(1):57–76

  • Walther JB (1995) Relational aspects of computer-mediated communication: experimental observations over time. Organ Sci 6(2):186–203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walton RE, McKersie RB (1965) A behavioral theory of labor negotiations: an analysis of a social interaction system. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Watson D, Clark LA, Tellegen A (1988) Development and validation of brief measures os positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Soc Psychol 54(6):1063–1070

    Google Scholar 

  • Watson D, Wiese D, Vaidya J, Tellegen A (1999) The two general activation systems of affect: structural findings, evolutionary considerations, and psychobiological evidence. Soc Psychol 76(5):820–838

    Google Scholar 

  • Weingart LR, Brett JM, Olekalns M, Smith PL (2007) Conflicting social motives in negotiating groups. J Pers Soc Psychol 93(6):994–1010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weingart LR, Olekalns M, Smith PL (2004) Quantitative coding of negotiation behavior. Int Negot 9(Special Issue on Research Methods in Negotiation and Social Conflict): 441–455.

  • Zachariassen F (2008) Negotiation strategies in supply chain management. Int J Phys Distrib Logist Manage 38(10):764–781. doi:10.1108/0960003081091484

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jennifer D. Parlamis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Parlamis, J.D., Geiger, I. Mind the Medium: A Qualitative Analysis of Email Negotiation. Group Decis Negot 24, 359–381 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-014-9393-7

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-014-9393-7

Keywords

  • E-negotiation
  • Joint gain
  • Subjective value
  • Communication mode
  • Content analysis