Recent advancements in communication systems enable the collaboration of virtual software design teams, breaking the barriers of time and distance. In this paper we address a critical aspect of the collaborative work of virtual project teams, the negotiation of requirements in software development. We present an exploratory study of the effects of multimedia communication systems on group negotiation performance and behavior. An emphasis is placed on the development of a research methodology that uses multiple methods in investigating a complex phenomenon. Contrary to the belief that face-to-face interaction increases performance, our laboratory findings suggest that groups in face-to-face meetings perform no better than video-conferenced groups; moreover, we identified a particular distributed virtual team configuration that was qualitatively more conducive to requirements negotiation than face-to-face meetings.