Web this concept. Web 2.0 is not

Web 2.0


One thing to consider about external
crowdsourcing is that the development of the Web 2.0 has helped with the
development, sometimes even organic, of this concept. Web 2.0 is not a
technical update of the internet, it refers to a perception of how web
applications and knowledge are created, used and shared. Web 2.0 is integral
for the concept of external crowdsourcing, is when the web is used as a
platform for collective creation and idea exchange (O’Reilly,
2005). Social media and wikis are a great
example of this concept. The difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is the way
users interact with each other, web 2.0 leaning more to the side of interacting
as a crowd for the same objective. (Shen,

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After this background review we can
say that the process of external crowdsourcing is in the early stages of being
defined. Although there’s not much insight into this topic, we can find some
characteristics that define important aspects of the process. In the next section
we include what we consider crucial for the understanding of external


We found two major approaches for
defining the process. One is a “time-line” approach where the different phases
are defined as a step by step progression, while the second one is a systematic
approach that defines the dimensions to consider when designing crowdsourcing
activities. Although there is a difference in each approach they are not
exclusive of each other, they can even complement. We will describe each approach
in detail and see the similarities between the different sources, and then the
similarities between the two approaches. One thing to be aware of is that some
of the models we will explain are aimed at both external and internal
crowdsourcing, for the purpose of our research we will only consider and
explain the steps related to external crowds.


“Time-Line” Approach


The first model we would want to
discuss is the one defined by Muhdi et al.


In this model the authors define
five phases for the process of crowdsourcing in the early stages of innovation:
Deliberation Phase, Preparation Phase, Execution Phase, Assessment Phase           and Implementation Phase. In their
research they use the concept of crowdsourcing, and therefore their model, as
tool for open innovation (Muhdi,
Daiber, Friesike, & Boutellier, 2011), they also use the definition of
crowdsourcing as the outsourcing of tasks to a crowd through an open call
online (Ebner,
Leimeister, & Krcmar, 2009). Therefore, this can be considered
as external crowdsourcing as the solutions come from people outside the


The second model by Zhu,
Sick, & Leker (2016) builds on the model by (Muhdi
et al., 2011), they maintain their same five
phases but adds the design elements that should be included in each.  The design elements they mention are the
challenges and decision organizations need to consider when approaching an
external crowdsourcing exercise.  


Borella, & Bortolaso, (2015) proposes a much more fleshed out
model that is not defined by phases but more by specific steps an organization
should follow when tackling crowdsourcing. 
What makes this model interesting for external crowdsourcing is the
third and fourth step. “Directing the project to a specific community or making
it fully open to participation” and “detailing the participant’s profile”. In
these two steps the authors make the distinction that the audience or crowd
that the organization chooses for solving the proposed problem needs to have
motivation, skills and functions that will make them create a relationship with
the problem and the solution (Verschoore
et al., 2015). This moment is key for the
organization, here is when the decision to use an external or internal will
take place. The organization needs to be sure that what’s needed to solve the
problem will be provided better by an external crowd.


We have compiled a table for
defining  and describing each of the five
phases according to the (Muhdi
et al., 2011) and (Zhu
et al., 2016), and how the steps on (Verschoore
et al., 2015) model can fit into each.
Verschoore’s steps don’t fit exactly in the same sequence as Muhdi and Zhu, but
theory relate closely as seen in table x.





Deliberation Phase

Preparation Phase

Execution Phase

Muhdi et. Al.

The initial period of a
CS process

Describes the necessary
groundwork that must be accomplished

The crowdsourcing
question is poste online

Zhu et. Al.

Define expected outcomes
Define kind of online platform it is using

Define the task
Define the crowd
Define the incentives
Define the procedure

Mobilize and activate the crowd
Keep up the activity level

Verschoore et. Al.

Reducing the complexity
the CW project
Defining the platform in
which the project will be advertised and disclosed

Deciding which company
activities will be outsourced to the crowd.
Defining which goals are
pursued by the company in the CS
Detailing the profile of
Analyzing the intrinsic
and extrinsic forms of motivation
Determining the type of
compensation to the community

Defining the forms of
interacting and feedback between the company and the community



Assessment Phase

Implementation / Post-processing Phase

et. Al.

The idea generation is terminated and the question is
taken offline

The nest ideas are identified and rewarded

et. Al.

a defined  Evaluation criteria and
mode (expert judges/peers)

feasibility of the ideas
about next steps

et. Al.


Making tests in the CW





As already mentioned the other way
some authors define the process of external crowdsourcing is by the dimensions.
Instead of describing the steps or phases, they focus on the reasons why the
organizations should use this model.


(Catallo & Martinenghi, 2017) propose a four dimensions model
that can be applied for defining the reasons for using crowdsourcing and making
sure crowdsourcing is the right model to apply, the four dimensions he suggest
are:  What, Who, Why and How. (Catallo & Martinenghi, 2017). Here’s a brief explanation of each


What? – For this
dimension the authors offer three aspects that should be considered: the task
type, the task features and the task output.

Who? – Here
organizations need to define who will be part of the crowd, the diversity,
anonymity, hierarchy.   Here
is where the organization decides for an internal or external crowd.

Why? – The
objective of this dimension is to evaluate why will the crowd participate in
the organization’s crowdsourcing inciative. Because of intrinsic or extrinsic

How? – The
dimension contains the question of what motivation techniques will be used on
the crowd to incentivize participation.  Also
touches on the quality assurance priori and post crowdsourcing exercise.


Estellés-Arolas & González-Ladrón-De-Guevara,
(2012) research
has its emphasis on what dimensions the organization focus on while defining a crowdsourcing
project. The diference between them and Catallo’s model is that the dimensions
ae aimed at the element that has the most impact during the process. The three elements
that need to be consider are the crowd the initiators and the process. After
defining the elements, they give detonators questions for each one of them. For
the Crowd they use: who forms the crowds? What’s the obejtective they must
achieve? And, what’s their incentive? For the Initiator its: Who is the
initiator? And, What’s the incentive of the initiator for using cs. And for The
Process: What type of process it is? What type of call? (external or internal)
and What medium will be used? (Estellés-Arolas & González-Ladrón-De-Guevara,


Looking at both dimensional models
we can see that although the focus is on different subjects, the questions the
organization should ask themselves while using crowdsourcing are the same or similar.


Similarities and how do they complement each other


Both approaches, “Time-Line” and
“Systematic”, are not exclusive of each other. In order to show how they could
relate to each other we will use Catallo’s et al dimensions and organize the
rest of the authors’ ideas revised in our research according to the dimension
they should be performed in.


For the “What” dimension, Amrollahi’s (2015) conceptual design phase
can fit into this dimension, while describing the task’s that should be tackled
before the begging of the project. He mentions several points, such as:
definition of tasks (Anderson, 2011; Nguyen et al., 2013; Schulze et al.,
2012), making the strategic decisions (Sutherlin, 2013), establish goals
(Lykourentzou et al., 2013), among others. He also mentions that a possible
outcome can be a detailed plan of activities (Amrollahi, 2015).


If you consider, the model of Muhdi,
the further development of Zhu, and the definition of the phase, we can relate
the Deliberation phase of the external cx process to the What dimension. The
reason for this is because in this step the organization must decide if crowdsourcing is the right methodology
and how appropriate is it to solve their internal problems (Muhdi et al., 2011).   This
phase and dimension should end with the conceit decision to start the project,
after considering all the different expected outcomes it can produce (Zhu et al., 2016). This dimensions also
relates to the second phase: Preparation, here is where the tasks to be
performed will be selected. Wazny, (2017) also adds to this dimension
by stating that there are different tasks more suitable for a crowdsourcing exercise. For
example:  such as solving problems,
completing tasks, being creative, developing products or ideas (Wazny, 2017).


For the Who dimension (Amrollahi, 2015) defines this phase as the
Participant selection. This phase is key for the process of external
crowdsourcing, here is where the organization needs to select what kind of
crowd the project needs: external or internal (Bücheler and Sieg, 2011; Geiger
et al., 2011; Park et al., 2013), create contact with the participants (Chen
and Liu, 2012; Hildebrand et al., 2013; Lorenzi et al., 2013), and even run
some tests if necesary. (Rossen and Lok, 2012; Stolee and Elbaum, 2010). For
Muhdi’s model we can see that this dimension relates directly to the second
phase, the preparation phase. This phase relates to many of Catallo’s
dimensions, for this one in particular the relation is between the definition
of the crowd (Zhu et al., 2016).


Another author that can relate to this dimension is
Wazny, when deciding to go for a external crowdsourcing project the
organization needs to be aware that the crowd should fill certain characteristics.  They describe many characteristics such as
age, job satisfaction, career expectations, etc. (Wazny, 2017). This is for both the
crowd as a whole, and the person who should be leading the crowd.

In the Why dimension, the Preparation phase of the Mudhi model applies also for
this one. Here it is because the organization needs to find a reason for the
crowd to participate in the cs exercise. Has their model says they need to find
the incentives for the crowd to perform their task (Muhdi et al., 2011; Zhu et al., 2016).The
incentive doesn’t have to necessarily economic. The other phase that relates to
this dimension is the execution phase, here is where the organization’s plans
for keeping the crowd motivated and interested in finding the solution for the
problem are applied (Zhu et al., 2016).


For the How we go back again to the Preparation phase
of Mudhi, here you define the procedure the crowd will follow to tackle the
problem they will be phasing. (Muhdi et al., 2011). Another important aspect
to consider in this dimension is the platforms that will be used for the
desired task. Amrollahi calls it Technical Design Phase (Amrollahi, 2015). There’s the option to use
existing platforms (Costa-jussà et al., 2014; Schulze et al., 2012; Stolee and
Elbaum, 2010) or develop a new platform for crowdsourcing that complies with
the needed requirements defined in the other dimensions. (Liu et al., 2012;
Park et al., 2013)