E-Business Process Negotiation: Formal Requirements for Strategy Support

Shazib E. Shaikh, Nikolay Mehandjiev
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Inter-organisational processes constructed and operated in a business-to-business e-commerce context (e-business processes) have received much focus in the recent literature on workflows. However, the problem of supporting e-business process negotiation (eBPN) remains under-explored. This paper reports on a novel investigation into this area. Though the research is still in its initial stages, significant findings can already be reported. In this paper, an analysis and formal representation of a set of electronic negotiation (e-negotiation) system requirements for the eBPN domain is documented. This contribution should eventually lead to a generic framework for more objective and efficient evaluation of e-negotiation systems, or their sub-systems, vis–vis this problem domain. The set of requirements pertains to general negotiation strategy support, as opposed to process-specific strategy support. Despite this limitation of scope, a major shortcoming in current e-negotiation systems is identified using the formalised requirements framework: the lack of a holistic approach. Also noteworthy is the use of other e-negotiation evaluation frameworks (e.g. the Montreal Taxonomy) in the derivation of the requirements set. Motivated by the above findings, further work on a new and more holistic eBPN approach called SEPNA is currently underway and this is briefly discussed here.