One piece at a time: why video-based communication is better for negotiation and conflict resolution
W. Dong, and W. Fu. Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, page 167--176. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2012)
We compared the effects of three computer mediated communication (CMC) channels (text, audio, and video) on how people performed an appointment-scheduling task. The task involved a grounding and a conflict resolution component. The results showed that video conferencing supported participant dyads in reaching a consensus that had better balanced performance between the dyads only when task difficulty was high and when there were more inherent conflicts in the task. Participants across the three CMC conditions also demonstrated different patterns of conversation dynamics during information exchange and negotiation. Mediation analysis showed that in video-based communication, strategies of exchanging less information at a time predicted higher levels of negotiation, which in turn predicted smaller performance differences in high conflict conditions. The results suggested that the design and use of communication technologies for remote conflict resolution should promote the strategy of exchanging information in small pieces, which could better support subsequent negotiation and foster a sense of fairness.