Skip to main content

Communication Media and Negotiation: A Review

  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online:
Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation
  • 219 Accesses

Abstract

With the advent of modern communication media over the last decades, such as email, video conferencing, or instant messaging, a plethora of research has emerged that analyzes the association between communication media and negotiation processes and outcomes. This chapter reviews theoretical vantage points on communication media and negotiation and summarizes empirical findings from the last five decades. Specifically, the author focuses on media richness theory and the task/media fit hypothesis, grounding in communication, and media synchronicity theory as communication theoretical foundations that found traction in negotiation research. These theoretical vantage points are supplemented by a review of specific theoretical psychological aspects of communication media, the barrier effect and psychological distance theory. In the second part of the chapter, empirical evidence on communication media and negotiation is presented, derived from an extensive literature search of relevant peer-reviewed articles. The emphasis in this review of the empirical literature is on the communication medium as an independent variable. In other words, the author analyzes effects of communication media on the negotiation process (descriptive process parameters, economic reference points, negotiation behavior/tactics, individual psychological variables, assessment of the opponent) as well as economic (agreement, individual profit, joint profit, equality of agreement) and socio-emotional (satisfaction, future interaction, trust) outcomes. A succeeding subsection is devoted to communication medium choice in negotiation, a topic much less researched. The conclusion sums up the findings and sketches out some avenues for future research.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arunachalam Y, Dilla WN (1995) Judgment accuracy and outcomes in negotiation: a causal modeling analysis of decision-aiding effects. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 61:289–304

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carnevale PJD, Isen AM (1986) The influence of positive affect and visual access on the discovery of integrative solutions in bilateral negotiation. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 37:1–13

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carnevale PJD, Pruitt DG, Seilheimer SD (1981) Looking and competing: accountability and visual access in integrative bargaining. J Pers Soc Psychol 40:111–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Citera M, Beauregard R, Mitsuya T (2005) An experimental study of credibility in e-negotiations. Psychol Market 22:163–179

    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 DC, pp 127–149

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

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

    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. Manag Sci 32:554–571

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dennis AR, Fuller RM, Valacich JS (2009) Media synchronicity and media choice: choosing media for performance. In: Hartmann T (ed) Media choice – a theoretical and empirical overview. Routledge, New York, pp 247–273

    Google Scholar 

  • Dorado MA, Medina FJ, Munduate L, Cisneros IFJ, Euwema M (2002) Computer-mediated negotiation of an escalated conflict. Small Group Res 33:509–524. https://doi.org/10.1177/104649602237168

    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 36:26–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Duthler KW (2006) The politeness of requests made via email and voicemail: support for the hyperpersonal model. J Comput Mediat Commun 11:500–521. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.00024.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Friedman RA, Currall SC (2003) Conflict escalation: dispute exacerbating elements of e-mail communication. Hum Relat 56:1325–1347

    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 

  • Gattiker TF, Huang X, Schwarz JL (2007) Negotiation, email, and Internet reverse auctions: how sourcing mechanisms deployed by buyers affect suppliers’ trust. J Oper Manag 25:184–202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2006.02.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geiger I (2014) Media effects on the formation of negotiator satisfaction: the example of face-to-face and text based electronically mediated negotiations. Group Decis Negot 23:735–763. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-012-9317-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geiger I, Laubert C (2018) Situational strategic versus personal influences on negotiation medium choice – media synchronicity theory and affect for communication channel. Int J Confl Manag 29:398–423. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-06-2017-0054

    Article  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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.11.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • George JF, Carlson JR, Valacich JS (2013) Media selection as a strategic component of communication. MIS Q 37:1233–A1234

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Giordano GA, Stoner JS, Brouer RL, George JF (2007) The influences of deception and computer-mediation on dyadic negotiations. J Comput Mediat Commun 12:362–383. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00329.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hertel G, Schroer J, Batinic B, Naumann S (2008) Do shy people prefer to send e-mail? personality effects on communication media preferences in threatening and nonthreatening situations. Soc Psychol 39:231–243. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335.39.4.231

    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 

  • Huang X, Gattiker TF, Schwarz JL (2008) Interpersonal trust formation during the supplier selection process: the role of the communication channel. J Supply Chain Manag 44:53–75. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-493X.2008.00066.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson NA, Cooper RB (2009a) Media, affect, concession, and agreement in negotiation: IM versus telephone. Decis Support Syst 46:673–684. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2008.10.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson NA, Cooper RB (2009b) Power and concession in computer-mediated negotiations: an examination of first offers. MIS Q 33:147–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jonassen DH, Kwon HI (2001) Communication patterns in computer mediated versus face-to-face group problem solving. Educ Technol Res Dev 49:35–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kelly L, Keaten JA (2007) Development of the affect for communication channels scale. J Commun 57:349–365. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2007.00346.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kiesler S, Siegel J, McGuire TW (1984) Social psychological aspects of computer-mediated communication. Am Psychol 39:1123–1134

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis SA, Fry WR (1977) Effects of visual access and orientation on the discovery of integrative bargaining alternatives. Organ Behav Hum Perform 20:75–92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loewenstein J, Morris MW, Chakravarti A, Thompson L, Kopelman S (2005) At a loss for words: dominating the conversation and the outcome in negotiation as a function of intricate arguments and communication media. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 98:28–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McGrath JE, Hollingshead AB (1993) Putting the ‘group’ back in group support systems: some theoretical issues about dynamics in groups with technological enhancements. In: Jessup LM, Valacich JS (eds) Group support systems: new perspectives. Macmillan, New York, pp 78–96

    Google Scholar 

  • Mennecke BE, Valacich JS, Wheeler BC (2000) The effects of media and task on user performance: a test of the task-media fit hypothesis. Group Decis Negot 9:507–529

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    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 6:89–100

    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 & Francis Group, New York, pp 145–172

    Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Naquin CE, Kurtzberg TR, Belkin LY (2010) The finer points of lying online: E-mail versus pen and paper. J Appl Psychol 95:387–394. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018627

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Paese PW, Schreiber AM, Taylor AW (2003) Caught telling the truth: effects of honesty and communication media in distributive negotiations. Group Decis Negot 12:537–566. https://doi.org/10.1023/b:grup.0000004334.14310.90

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parlamis JD, Geiger I (2015) Mind the medium: a qualitative analysis of email negotiation. Group Decis Negot 24:359–381. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-014-9393-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pesendorfer E-M, Graf A, Koeszegi S (2007) Relationship in electronic negotiations: tracking behavior over time. Z Betriebswirt 77:1315–1338. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11573-007-0327-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Poole MS, Shannon DL, DeSanctis G (1992) Communication media and negotiation processes. In: Putnam LL, Roloff ME (eds) Communication and negotiation. Sage annual reviews of communication research, vol 20. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, pp 46–67

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Potter RE, Balthazard PA (2000) Supporting integrative negotiation via computer mediated communication technologies. J Int Consum Market 12:7–32. https://doi.org/10.1300/J046v12n04_02

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Purdy JM, Nye P, Balakrishnan PV (2000) The impact of communication media on negotiation outcomes. Int J Confl Manag 11:162–187. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022839

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rangaswamy A, Shell GR (1997) Using computers to realize joint gains in negotiations: toward an ‘electronic bargaining table’. Manag Sci 43:1147–1164

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rockmann KW, Northcraft GB (2008) To be or not to be trusted: the influence of media richness on defection and deception. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 107:106–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosette AS, Brett JM, Barsness Z, Lytle AL (2012) When cultures clash electronically: the impact of email and social norms on negotiation behavior and outcomes. J Cross-Cult Psychol 43:628–643. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022111407190

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schoop M, Köhne F, Staskiewicz D, Voeth M, Herbst U (2008) The antecedents of renegotiations in practice - an exploratory analysis. Group Decis Negot 17:127–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schulz von Thun F (1981) Miteinander Reden 1 – Störungen und Klärungen – Allgemeine Psychologie der Kommunikation. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg

    Google Scholar 

  • Sheffield J (1995) The effect of communication medium on negotiation performance. Group Decis Negot 4:159–179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Short JA (1974) Effects of medium of communication on experimental negotiation. Hum Relat 27:225–234. https://doi.org/10.1177/001872677402700303

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stuhlmacher AF, Citera M (2005) Hostile behavior and profit in virtual negotiation: a meta-analysis. J Bus Psychol 20:69–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-005-6984-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stuhlmacher AF, Citera M, Willis T (2007) Gender differences in virtual negotiation: theory and research. Sex Roles 57:329–339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-007-9252-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suh KS (1999) Impact of communication medium on task performance and satisfaction: an examination of media-richness theory. Inf Manag 35:295–312

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    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 14:553–574

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trevino LK, Lengel RH, Bodensteiner W, Gerloff EA, Muir NK (1990) The richness imperative and cognitive style: the role of individual differences in media choice behavior. Manag Commun Q 4:176–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318990004002003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Treviño LK, Webster J, Stein EW (2000) Making connections: complementary influences on communication media choices attitudes, and use. Org Sci 11:163–182. https://doi.org/10.2307/2640282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valley KL, Moag J, Bazerman MH (1998) A matter of trust’: effects of communication on the efficiency and distribution of outcomes. J Econ Behav Organ 34:211–238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Es R, French W, Stellmaszek F (2004) Resolving conflicts over ethical issues: face-to-face versus internet negotiations. J Bus Ethics 53:165–172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Webster J, Trevino LK (1995) Rational and social theories as complementary explanations of communication media choices: two policy-capturing studies. Acad Manag J 38:1544–1572. https://doi.org/10.2307/256843

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ingmar Geiger .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Geiger, I. (2019). Communication Media and Negotiation: A Review. In: Kilgour, D., Eden, C. (eds) Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12051-1_37-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12051-1_37-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-12051-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-12051-1

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics