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PLS Path Modeling – A Software Review


  • Dirk Temme
  • Henning Kreis
  • Lutz Hildebrandt


After years of stagnancy, PLS path modeling has recently attracted renewed interest from applied researchers in marketing. At the same time, the availability of software alternatives to Lohmöller’s LVPLS package has considerably increased (PLS-Graph, PLS-GUI, SPAD-PLS, SmartPLS). To help the user to make an informed decision, the existing programs are reviewed; their strengths and weaknesses are identified. Furthermore, analyzing simulated data reveals that the signs of weights/factor loadings and path coefficients can vary considerably across the different programs. Thus, applied researchers should treat the interpretation of their results with caution. Compared to programs for analysis of covariance structure models (LISREL approach), PLS path modeling software is on equal footing regarding ease of use, but clearly lags behind in terms of methodological capabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Temme & Henning Kreis & Lutz Hildebrandt, 2006. "PLS Path Modeling – A Software Review," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-084, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-084

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dijkstra, Theo, 1983. "Some comments on maximum likelihood and partial least squares methods," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 67-90.
    2. Jarvis, Cheryl Burke & MacKenzie, Scott B & Podsakoff, Philip M, 2003. " A Critical Review of Construct Indicators and Measurement Model Misspecification in Marketing and Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 199-218, September.
    3. Herman Wold, 1980. "Model Construction and Evaluation When Theoretical Knowledge Is Scarce," NBER Chapters,in: Evaluation of Econometric Models, pages 47-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Wei-Wen & Lan, Lawrence W. & Lee, Yu-Ting, 2012. "Exploring the critical pillars and causal relations within the NRI: An innovative approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 218(1), pages 230-238.
    2. Monecke, Armin & Leisch, Friedrich, 2012. "semPLS: Structural Equation Modeling Using Partial Least Squares," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 48(i03).
    3. Christian Felix Böttcher & Martin Müller, 2015. "Drivers, Practices and Outcomes of Low-carbon Operations: Approaches of German Automotive Suppliers to Cutting Carbon Emissions," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 477-498, September.
    4. Erkki Laitinen, 2014. "The association between CEO work, management accounting information, and financial performance: evidence from Finnish top managers," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 25(3), pages 221-257, December.

    More about this item


    PLS Path Modeling; Marketing; Formative Indicators; Reflective Indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C87 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Econometric Software
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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