Communication Media and Negotiation: A Review

  • Ingmar GeigerEmail author
Living reference work entry


With the advent of modern communication media over the last decades, such as email, video conferencing, or instant messaging, a plethora of research has emerged that analyzes the association between communication media and negotiation processes and outcomes. This chapter reviews theoretical vantage points on communication media and negotiation and summarizes empirical findings from the last five decades. Specifically, the author focuses on media richness theory and the task/media fit hypothesis, grounding in communication, and media synchronicity theory as communication theoretical foundations that found traction in negotiation research. These theoretical vantage points are supplemented by a review of specific theoretical psychological aspects of communication media, the barrier effect and psychological distance theory. In the second part of the chapter, empirical evidence on communication media and negotiation is presented, derived from an extensive literature search of relevant peer-reviewed articles. The emphasis in this review of the empirical literature is on the communication medium as an independent variable. In other words, the author analyzes effects of communication media on the negotiation process (descriptive process parameters, economic reference points, negotiation behavior/tactics, individual psychological variables, assessment of the opponent) as well as economic (agreement, individual profit, joint profit, equality of agreement) and socio-emotional (satisfaction, future interaction, trust) outcomes. A succeeding subsection is devoted to communication medium choice in negotiation, a topic much less researched. The conclusion sums up the findings and sketches out some avenues for future research.


Communication media Negotiation process Negotiation outcome Media effects Media choice 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementAalen UniversityAalenGermany

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