Electronic Signatures and Interpersonal Trustworthiness in Online Negotiations

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Corporate‐mandated signature lines in professional e‐mail messages (i.e., those required and often added automatically by the company’s server) are an increasingly common practice in organizations. This research empirically explores the impact of one such electronic signature upon judgments of interpersonal trustworthiness in online negotiations. Specifically, we compare the impact of what we call the “disclaimer” signature (statements that the e‐mail represents the opinion of the sender and not necessarily the organization) to “non‐disclaimer” signatures (statements of confidentiality.) Findings indicate that negotiators who received such a disclaimer signature tended to judge the sender as less trustworthy and also receive lower objective outcomes than did those who either did not have any statement, or those who had one with different (non‐disclaimer) content.

Keywords: e‐mail, negotiation, interpersonal trust, electronic signatures

How to Cite: Kurtzberg, T. & Naquin, C. (2010) “Electronic Signatures and Interpersonal Trustworthiness in Online Negotiations”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research. 3(1). doi: