EMAIL VERSUS FACE-TO-FACE NEGOTIATIONS: PERSPECTIVES OF SALES AND CUSTOMER SERVICE EMPLOYEES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This research aims to identify the differences between email negotiation and face-to-face negotiation with respect to negotiation process, negotiation flexibility, face-saving, level of collaboration, and appropriateness for cross-cultural negotiation. The survey questionnaire was distributed to the sales and customer service employees in many business organizations located in different regions of the United States of America. Data from 519 respondents (including both males and females) were analyzed using the one-sample t-test, two sample t-test, and Pearson Correlation. The findings reveal that the characteristics of face-to-face negotiation assist in smoothing the negotiation process more than that of email negotiation. Participants also tend to cooperate more in face-to-face negotiation than in email negotiation. However, participants prefer using email negotiation because they find it more flexible. They also feel that a face-threatening act is less likely to occur in an email negotiation than in a face-to-face negotiation. The findings also show that email negotiation could be more appropriate than face-to-face negotiation for the purpose of cross-cultural negotiation. This is because communicating via email minimizes the influence of culture on the negotiation process. Age and gender do not have any influence on the perspectives of participants regarding email negotiation versus face-to-face negotiation. The findings have significant implications for both business and dispute resolution. They contrast the differences between face-to-face negotiation and email negotiation and identify the situations in which each of these types could be most appropriate.