Negotiating via Information Technology: Theory and Application



In this review article, we examine how people negotiate via e-mail and in particular, how the process and outcomes of e-negotiations differ from those of traditional face-to-face bargaining. We review the key tasks of negotiation and then undertake a review of the research literature that has examined e-negotiations. We outline four theories of interaction that provide insights about social behavior in e-media: rapport building, social contagion, coordination, and information exchange. Our research program has focused on the interpersonal factors and social identity factors that can enhance the quality of e-negotiations. E-negotiators often succumb to the temporal synchrony bias, the burned bridge bias, the squeaky wheel bias, and the sinister attribution bias. We discuss social psychological factors that can reduce these biases and the future of research on e-negotiations.