Face-to-Face and Email Negotiations: A Comparison of Emotions, Perceptions and Outcomes

Jennifer Parlamis
University of San Francisco

Daniel Ames
Columbia Business School – Management

IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper


The purpose of this research was to conduct an exploratory study comparing email to face-to-face negotiations primarily focusing on emotions across the two negotiation environments. We used a bargaining task with a negative bargaining zone for the negotiation and pre- and post-negotiation surveys to measure motivations, emotions, and perceptions. We found that email dyads had less pro-social concerns, were less likely to reach agreement, less satisfied with the quality of the interaction during the negotiation, reported less rapport and rated future trust in their partner significantly lower than face-to-face dyads. Those negotiating face-to-face rated their own emotions during the negotiation and those of the other party significantly higher than those negotiating over email. However, accuracy in emotion perception was greater in the email dyads. Finally, our research shows that accuracy in perceiving negative emotions is a significant predictor of settlement, regardless of negotiation environment. Limitations and implications for future research directions are discussed.

Face-to-Face and Email Negotiations- A Comparison of Emotions, Perceptions and Outcomes

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