N-Site: A Distributed Consensus Building and Negotiation Support System

Document Type


Publication Date





This paper presents N-Site, a distributed consensus building and negotiation support system, which is used to provide geographically dispersed teams with agile access to a Web-based group decision support system. Four teams located in France, Mexico, the Ukraine, and the United States participated in the N-Site project. Each team was required to research the problem using the World Wide Web (WWW). With this background, each team identified opportunities, threats and alternatives as a basis for developing a response to the Cuban Missile Crisis that confronted President Kennedy in October 1962. The strategic assessment model (SAM) (M. Tavana, J. Multi-Criteria Decision Anal.11 (2002) 75–96; M. Tavana and S. Banerjee, Decision Sci.26 (1995) 119–143.) was used by each team to choose a strategy that best fit the team's perspective. SAM and WWW enabled the teams to evaluate strategic alternatives and build consensus based on a series of intuitive and analytical methods including environmental scanning, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and subjective probabilities. The WWW was used to achieve interaction among the international teams as they attempted to negotiate a decision framework and select a diplomatic response. The project was assessed with a Web-distributed survey instrument. This use of the WWW has implications for international diplomacy as well as global business.




Tavana, M. and Kennedy, D. (2006) ‘N-SITE: A Distributed Consensus Building and Negotiation Support System,’ International Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 123-154.