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  • Inspire Negotiation handout

    This is a handout that you may find useful when using Inspire. All the main steps and actions you will need are explained here. A more comprehensive explanation is given on the individual Inspire pages. The example explains how Inspire works and shows you what it can do. If you need any help send us an email at invite@jmsb.concordia.ca.


    1. Introduction
    2. Getting started
    3. Using Inspire

    1. Introduction

    Participants in the negotiation are paired randomly and anonymously. Your partner may be from your city, country or from far away: a different country, a different continent. Please log in at least once in two days to check whether there has been any activity. If you have provided an e-mail address, Inspire will send you a note when your counterpart makes an offer, but it is better not to rely on these e-mails; do log in frequently.

    In brief, the negotiation involves a preparation phase during which you read the case description and clarify your preferences in terms of the issues and options. You then proceed to an offer exchange phase during which you try to reach an agreement by exchanging offers and, if you like, messages. If you reach and agreement, you can use the post-settlement phase to improve upon the agreement you reached. More information is available from the system itself. A more detailed instruction sheet is also provided.

    All negotiations have a deadline. Remember to complete your negotiation by the deadline. After to the deadline, you can no longer negotiate and may only participate in post-negotiation activities (e.g. review the case and negotiation transcript, give your comments and feedback).

    Also, please note that in addition to the negotiation, online questionnaires may be added during this process for improving the system as well as research purposes, In particular, the pre-questionnaire(s) may be given before the actual negotiation phase (i.e. offer/message exchange), and the post-questionnaire(s) will be included in the post-negotiation activities. Please fill out the questionnaires carefully. This is important for us to provide better systems and services for your negotiations.

    2. Getting started

    In order to log in, please go to:  http://invite.concordia.ca/inspire

    Once you have logged in, please use the system menu on the right-hand side and the tabs on the top. Detailed instructions are also provided on each page. Please DO NOT click the "Back" and "Go" buttons on your Web browser, which may cause unanticipated problems (e.g. losing your negotiation information).

    There is an example of a negotiation in which all the main features of the Inspire system are mentioned. You can view this example by clicking the "Review the example that demonstrates Inspire features" button on Inspire's home page.

    If you do not know a specific word or a negotiation term, or if you would like to check our definition of such a term, then please use the Glossary Page. You may also refer to the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page. There you may find an answer to your problem. The link to the FAQ page is at the bottom of every Inspire page. If you encounter a problem to which no answer is provided, please send an email to: invite@jmsb.concordia.ca.

    3. Using Inspire©

    1. Log in. Remember that the information you enter is case sensitive. Enter your user-name and password in exactly the same way as in the Inspire confirmation email that you have received.

    2. On the Welcome page, you will be shown the main steps that you will follow during your negotiation. You may also click the tabs on the top to check your negotiation status and read the instructions for each negotiation activity. Inspire is full of information and will guide you through your negotiation. All the steps mentioned below will be explained in detail as you move through Inspire.

    3. Read the Public Information. This page contains information that is available to both parties.

    4. Read the Private Information. This page contains information that is only available to you or your party but not your counterpart.

    5. Rate the issues. Distribute 100 points among the various issues. The most important issue gets the highest number of points; the least important issue gets the least number of points. The points for all the issues must total 100.

      Remember if you make a mistake or change your mind, click on the "Clear all entries" button and start from the beginning.

    6. Rate the options for each issue. Distribute the assigned number of points among all the options of each issue. Give the maximum number of points to the option that you think is best and zero to the one which is the worst for you.

    7. Rate the packages. A number of packages are displayed for you. Each package has a rating. Check if you agree with the ratings. If you disagree with the ratings of any of the packages please change them in the box on the right-hand side of the table. Please note that a significant change made to the ratings (e.g., a change from 60 to 45) indicates an inconsistency with the previous two rating activities (Rate the issues and Rate the options). In this case you will be asked to revise your ratings.

    8. From now on every offer (a package) which you want to consider and present to your counterpart will show a rating based on your preferences. Any offers sent to you by your counterpart will also show a rating. Remember, this rating reflects only your opinion i.e. the score is calculated based on your preferences set up previously). Your counterpart does not know your opinion nor can he or she see your ratings.

    9. You may choose to make an offer to your counterpart using the menus in the offer-box. You can also send messages to your counterpart using the message-box. You will then have to wait for your counterpart to respond to your offer. Inspire will show you whether your counterpart has sent you a response via a notification email as well as a message displayed on the right-hand side in the yellow box. Keep checking till you get a response. If you like, you can continue to send messages or new offers to your counterpart.

    10. At any point you may review the history of your negotiations. The history page contains all the offers and messages that you and your counterpart have exchanged as well as a graph indicating the ratings of the exchanged offers. Note, that this graph represents both yours and your counterpart's offers but in terms of your ratings only.

    11. When both you and your counterpart accept an offer, it is called an "agreement". Inspire will tell you whether your agreement is "optimal", or whether it is possible to improve it and move towards a better agreement.

    12. If Inspire says you have reached an "optimal" solution, your negotiation is done and you can now click on "End negotiation" from the menu. Otherwise you have the choice of making more offers until you reach a better settlement through the post-settlement phase, or stopping at this point by clicking "End negotiation". In any case, you may conduct some post-negotiation activities (e.g. review your negotiation transcript, give comments and feedback) when you reach the end of the negotiation. Please remember that you are negotiating with someone who may be far away and in a different time zone. He or she may wait for your response or a message; please do not make your counterpart wait too long.

    13. Thank you!