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Frontiers of Engineering Management >> 2021, Volume 8, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s42524-021-0153-5

Do right PLS and do PLS right: A critical review of the application of PLS-SEM in construction management research

. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.. Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands.. School of Management Science and Real Estate, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China

Received: 2021-01-30 Accepted: 2021-03-26 Available online: 2021-03-26

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Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is a modern multivariate analysis technique with a demonstrated ability to estimate theoretically established cause-effect relationship models. This technique has been increasingly adopted in construction management research over the last two decades. Accordingly, a critical review of studies adopting PLS-SEM appears to be a timely and valuable endeavor. This paper offers a critical review of 139 articles that applied PLS-SEM from 2002 to 2019. Results show that the misuse of PLS-SEM can be avoided. Critical issues related to the application of PLS-SEM, research design, model development, and model evaluation are discussed in detail. This paper is the first to highlight the use and misuse of PLS-SEM in the construction management area and provides recommendations to facilitate the future application of PLS-SEM in this field.

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