PLS-SEM: Looking Back and Moving Forward


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This article introduces and motivates an exchange of thoughts on the paper by Edward E. Rigdon in the first of two Long Range Planning special issues on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in strategic management published in 2012 and 2013. For 30 years, there has been a heated debate on the benefits and drawbacks of PLS-SEM versus those of its sibling, the covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) approach. Edward E. Rigdon's paper is a milestone that proposes a change of thought and encourages the long-required emancipation of the PLS-SEM method from CB-SEM. These developments will have a pronounced impact on the proper application of SEM as a key multivariate analysis method in the strategic management discipline, further enhancing the potential it has as a research tool.