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.

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