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Keywords:

  • negotiation;
  • electronic negotiation;
  • exitability;
  • correctability

The purpose of the present study was to examine via a laboratory experiment the effects of two features of electronic negotiation, correctability and exitability, on negotiation processes and outcomes. We define correctability as the negotiator's ability to revise messages before transmitting them to the other party, thus prompting informational and social elaboration. The opportunity to exit the negotiation that the use of the electronic medium creates, a phenomenon for which we have coined the term “exitability,” can give rise to the perception that electronic negotiation is inherently more unstable than face-to-face negotiation. In two experiments, we manipulated the exitability of one of the parties in three ways. In another experiment, we manipulated correctability in two ways. We found that increased exitability caused by the existence of a potential alternative party with whom to negotiate prompted participants to decrease their demands and to reach agreement more often. Increasing the correctability of messages enhanced their clarity and generated more trade-offs, thus leading to more frequent agreements.