Jan 28, 2010

What can be done to compensate impersonal nature of email in business negotiations?

Realizing that the lack of rapport created through "e-negotiation" could lead to poorer outcomes for all parties, researches thought:

What if negotiators get to know a little bit about one another’s background before negotiations takes place?

To test this idea, researchers paired up students enrolled at two elite US business schools and had them negotiate a deal via email.

To a half were simply given instructions to negotiate. The other half were provided with a picture of the negotiating partner, some brief biographical information about the partner, and instructions to spend some time before start negotiation process.

When the participants were given no additional information, 29% came to an impasse and failed to agree on a deal.

Although, only 6% of more informed negotiators pair came to an impasse.

So, by taking the time to disclose something personal about yourself and your online counterpart, you will improve your negotiations outcomes.

See studies:
* Long and short routes to success in electronically mediated negotiations.
* Schmooze or lose: Social friction and lubrication in e-mail negotiations.

Jan 19, 2010

It’s okay to use a computer to persuade, but don’t act like one when you do

How is a process like negotiation affected by whether it takes place online or face-to-face?

The lack of personal contact between negotiating parties have the potential to act more like a roadblock than a route to successful outcomes?

In one experiment, MBA students negotiated with one another either face-to-face or by email.

When all was said and done, those who negotiated through email exchanged far less of the kind of personal information that typically helps people establish better rapport.

Past research has indicated that rapport helps negotiators overcome interpersonal friction and find cooperative agreements.

Jan 11, 2010

Why we don't care about information overload?

(Excerpt from article by Tom Davenport)

If information overload is such a problem, why don't we do something about it?

We could if we wanted to. How many of us bother to tune our spam filters?

How many of us turn off the little evanescent window in Outlook that tells us we have a new email?

Who signs off of social media because there's just too much junk?

Who turns off their BlackBerry or iPhone in meetings to ensure no distractions?

Nobody, that's who — or very few souls anyway.

Why? First, there is the everlasting hope of something new and exciting.

Our work and home lives can be pretty boring, and we're always hoping that something will come across the ether that will liven things up.

If I turn up the filtering on the spam filter or turn off the smartphone, I might miss out on an email promising a new job, a text message offering a new relationship, an RSS feed with a new news item, and so forth.

Every new communication offers the frisson of a possible life-changing information event, though it seldom delivers on the promise.

Read full article.