Schmooze or lose: Social friction and lubrication in E-mail negotiations

Michael Morris*, Janice Nadler, Terri Kurtzberg, Leigh Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Past research has indicated 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. The authors hypothesized that the liabilities of e-mail might be 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 (although no less ambitious), and their economic and social outcomes were better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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