Schmooze or Lose: Social Friction and Lubrication in E-mail Negotiations, Group Dynamics
Past research indicates that rapport helps negotiators overcome interpersonal friction and find cooperative agreements. Study 1 explored differences in the behavioral dynamics evoked by e-mail versus face-to-face negotiation. Although some behavioral content categories differed in ways pointing to strengths of e-mail, the strongest pattern was that e-mail inhibited the process of exchanging personal information through which negotiators establish rapport. We hypothesized that the liabilities of e-mail might minimized by a pre-negotiation intervention of social lubrication. To test this in Study 2, half of dyads had a brief personal telephone conversation (schmoozed) before commencing e-mail negotiations, and half did not. Schmoozers felt more rapport; their plans were more trusting though no less ambitious; and their economic and social outcomes were better.
Michael W. Morris, Janice Nadler, Terri Kurtzberg, Leigh Thompson
Morris, W. Michael, Janice Nadler, Terri Kurtzberg, and Leigh Thompson. 2002. Schmooze or Lose: Social Friction and Lubrication in E-mail Negotiations. Group Dynamics. 6(1): 89-100.