Vienna charme pays off in cyberspace as well

Hardly believable: the special diplomatic charme of Vienna which already in the old times of monarchy made Vienna an international stage for diplomats still works today – even in cyberspace. The negotiating talent of people from Viena was demonstrated in the course of an international experiment in which 141 students from the universities of Hohenheim, Vienna and Tel Aviv negotiated a fictitious business deal. The experiment was made in order to further develop a software called Negoisst.

Germans and Israelis turned out to be willing to compromise particularly in situations in which the business partner showed a similar willingness. The objective of the experiment was to further develop a special software tool which makes it possible to negotiate without having to meet face to face. All cyber negotiations were made in English via Negoisst under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mareike Schoop holding the professorship for economic informatics.

In the course of the cyber negotiations participants assumed the roles of tour operators and hotel owners who negotiated for instance number and price of hotel rooms, optional catering, services, means of transport etc. By means of the software tool not only were the negotiations done, but everything was also documented and cast in the adequate judicial form, i.e. contracts.

„The best results were reached by those business partners who refrained from securing themselves in a selfish manner the biggest piece of the pie. Most successful were those who succeeded in being creative such as to find a solution meeting the aspirations of all the negotiating parties involved”, says Prof. Dr. Schoop after the first analysis of research results. On average Austrians were those who did best in the tests: „On the one hand, participants from Vienna showed a very rational behaviour and negotiated open-mindedly. On the other hand, they also applied their famous Vienna charme.” Only in seventy percent of all cases Germans and Israelis were as successful as Austrians.

About 80% of companies in Germany use email for submitting business offers and more than fifty percent do the entire negotiating procedure via email, as was revealed by a survey conducted by the Hohenheim university. But the results of these negotiations are in general quite mediocre: „42% of those questioned said that often or very often costly re-negotiations are necessary”, says Mrs. Schoop. For this reason companies are very much interested in a good software for negotiating over the internet. Now one has found a way to also convey the subtles nuances of negotiations. GERMAN