Rapport in Negotiation: The Contribution of the Verbal Channel

Ilan Bronstein, Noa Nelson, Zohar Livnat, Rachel Ben-Ari

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21 Scopus citations


This study examined the contribution of verbal behavior to the creation of rapport in negotiation, while methodologically addressing the issue of dependence between dyadic measures, which is inherent to the concept of rapport, with the Actor-Partner Interdependence model. The approach adopted is substantially different from that of past research, which emphasized the contribution of nonverbal behavior to rapport and used averaged rapport to asses it. Drawing both from the theoretical concept of rapport and from Politeness theory, the authors developed the Verbal Rapport Assessment scale. The authors found that rapport is indeed encoded in the verbal behavior and that various verbal behaviors contribute to negotiators' sense of rapport, as well as to the judgment of negotiators' rapport behaviors. Likewise, the authors found that a negotiator's sense of rapport was primarily affected by his partners' verbal behavior and by the interaction between behaviors of both sides. These findings emphasize the importance of the verbal channel and the dyad in creating rapport in negotiation. Negotiation in the twenty-first century is often characterized by exclusively verbal interactions (via telephone, chat, and e-mails); negotiators from many different fields can benefit from these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1115
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • conflict resolution
  • negotiation
  • politeness theory
  • rapport
  • verbal behavior
  • verbal channel


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