Negotiating Via E Mail : Benefits And Challenges Essay
With global supply chains and lean operating costs becoming more of a norm than a competitive edge in business, companies are increasingly conducting negotiations “through channels other than face-to-face meetings” (Ebner, 2011). In particular, negotiators are overcoming distance and time constraints by interacting via video teleconferencing, instant messaging (IM), and e-mail. The communication mediums available to conduct negotiations may be expanding; however, the purpose and desired outcome of negotiations remained unchanged. Businesses face the challenge of understanding the impact non-face-to-face communication methods have on negotiations and leveraging these methods as a tool, rather than relying on them as a crutch.
E-mail is used daily as a means to negotiate, inside and outside of the workplace. Consumers negotiate prices on large purchases, such as mortgages and new cars, via e-mail. Websites such as eBay and Amazon moderate issues between parties through an e-mail based dispute resolution service. Businesses post electronic Requests for Quotes (RFQ) and reverse auctions to negotiate prices on goods and services. Attorneys propose and negotiate settlements through e-mail. No more than a few decades ago, these interactions were only done face-to-face or, at the very most, over the telephone.
It is estimated that “office workers in the U.S. spend at least 25 percent of their day on e-mail and trillions of…