Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Deepak Khazanchi

Second Advisor

Dr. Lotfollah Najjar


Crowdsourcing is a problem-solving model. Conventional theory suggests that solving complex problems is a province of professionals, people with sufficient knowledge about the domain. Prior literature indicated that the crowd is also a great source for solving complex problems. However, there is a lack of experimental research to support that crowdsourcing is a useful model for complex problem-solving (CPS), especially in the software development context. The broad goal of this dissertation is to address this research gap and improve understanding of crowdsourcing as a viable and effective CPS model. This research proposed and tested a research model of perceived quality of software designed using two development approaches (crowdsourcing method and professional method). Perceived quality is measured in terms of pragmatic quality (PQL), hedonic quality stimulation (HQSL), and hedonic quality identification (HQIL). Adopting a quasiexperimental research design, the researcher utilized a two-phase process to investigate the research question. The first phase involved the design of a software prototype for a complex task by the crowd and IT professionals. The crowd used Topcoder, a popular crowdsourcing environment, to design a software prototype. In the second phase, the researcher compared software designs by the crowd to those designed by IT professionals based on the three perceived quality dimensions. The major finding of this research is that the development approach (crowdsourcing versus IT professionals) has a significant effect on all three dependent variables: HQIL, HQSL, and PQL. However, univariate results suggested that there is no significant difference in terms of the hedonic quality, which refers to the general human needs aspect of a product. This dissertation contributes to research by building on relevant research in the areas of CPS, user experience, and crowdsourcing. Furthermore, it fills an important gap in the understanding of the perceived quality of crowdsourced software compared to software developed by IT professionals.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Copyright 2016 Abhishek Tripathi.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."