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The effect of communication channels on promise-making and promise-keeping: experimental evidence

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  • Julian Conrads

    () (University of Cologne)

  • Tommaso Reggiani

    () (LUMSA University
    IZA)

Abstract

In modern organizations, new communication channels are reshaping the way in which people get in touch, interact and cooperate. This paper, adopting an experimental economics framework, investigates the effect of different communication channels on promise-making and promise-keeping in an organizational context. Inspired by Ellingsen and Johannesson (Econ J 114:397–420, 2004), five experimental treatments differ with respect to the communication channel employed to solicit a promise of cooperation, i.e., face-to-face, phone call, chat room, and two different sorts of computer-mediated communication. The more direct and synchronous (face-to-face, phone, chat room) the interpersonal interaction is, the higher the propensity of an agent to make a promise. Treatment effects, however, vanish if we then look at the actual promise-keeping rates across treatments, as more indirect channels (computer-mediated) do not perform statistically worse than the direct and synchronous channels.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Conrads & Tommaso Reggiani, 2017. "The effect of communication channels on promise-making and promise-keeping: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 12(3), pages 595-611, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jeicoo:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11403-016-0177-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11403-016-0177-9
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    2. Zakaria Babutsidze & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2019. "Digital Communication and Swift Trust," Post-Print halshs-02409314, HAL.
    3. Zakaria Babutsidze & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2020. "Nonverbal content and swift trust: An experiment on digital communication," Working Papers halshs-02483343, HAL.
    4. Geraci, Andrea & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Broadband Internet and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 11855, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Civility and trust in social media," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 83-99.
    6. Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2019. "Gender Differences in Face-to-Face Deceptive Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 7995, CESifo.
    7. Kleinknecht, Janina, 2019. "A man of his word? An experiment on gender differences in promise keeping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 251-268.

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