Sticks and Stones: Language, Face, and Online Dispute Resolution
Academy of Management Journal, 2007, Vol. 50, No. 1, 85-99
16 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 4, 2012
Hypotheses derived from face theory predict that the words people use in online dispute resolution affect the likelihood of settlement. In an event history model, text data from 386 disputes between eBay buyers and sellers indicated a higher likelihood of settlement when face was affirmed by provision of a causal account and a lower likelihood of settlement when face was attacked by expression of negative emotions or making commands. These aspects of language and emotion accounted for settlement likelihood even when we controlled for structural aspects of disputes, such as negative feedback filings and the filer’s role as buyer or seller.
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