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A Beginner's Guide to Partial Least Squares Analysis

by Michael Haenlein, Andreas M. Kaplan
Understanding Statistics ()

Abstract

Since the introduction of covariance-based structural equation modeling (SEM) by Jöreskog in 1973, this technique has been received with considerable interest among empirical researchers. However, the predominance of LISREL, certainly the most well-known tool to perform this kind of analysis, has led to the fact that not all re- searchers are aware of alternative techniques for SEM, such as partial least squares (PLS) analysis. Therefore, the objective of this article is to provide an easily compre- hensible introduction to this technique, which is particularly suited to situations in which constructs are measured by a very large number of indicators and where maxi- mumlikelihood covariance-basedSEMtools reach their limit. Because this article is intended as a general introduction, it avoids mathematical details as far as possible and instead focuses on a presentation of PLS, which can be understood without an in-depth knowledge of SEM.

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