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Effects of Identity Disclosure of Negotiation Software Agents on Negotiation Behavior and Outcomes – an Empirical Analysis
They are tireless, motivated and faultless negotiators without hurting the bottom line of the firm. Negotiation Software Agents (NSA), which negotiate autonomously on behalf of their hu-man principals, offer an opportunity for firms to optimize negotiation processes. However, in or-der to realize this potential firms will soon be required by law to disclose the identity of NSAs to the opposing negotiators. As scholars already found several negative effects of bot identity dis-closure, the adoption of NSAs may come at the expense of negotiation performance. Since the effects of bot identity disclosure have not been verified in the context of negotiations, we con-ducted an experimental study. Our findings suggest that the disclosure of bot identity improves negotiation efficiency for sellers without negative side effects. While buyers in knowledge of the identity of an NSA are equally likely to reach agreement with sellers, they do so in shorter time. We attribute these results to a more efficient negotiation behavior by buyers. Our findings may therefore encourage firms to continue their efforts in the research and development of NSAs, as negative effects of their disclosure remain absent in our study.