Mediation Analyses in Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling: Guidelines and Empirical Examples
Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is one of the options used to analyze mediation effects. Over the past few years, the methods for testing mediation have become more sophisticated. However, many researchers continue to use outdated methods to test mediation effects in PLS-SEM, which can lead to erroneous results in some cases. One reason for the use of outdated methods is that PLS-SEM tutorials do not draw on the newest statistical findings. This chapter illustrates how to perform modern procedures in PLS-SEM by challenging the conventional approach to mediation analysis and providing better alternatives.
These novel methods offer a wide range of testing options (e.g., multiple mediators) that go beyond simple mediation analysis alternatives, helping researchers to discuss their studies in a more accurate way. This chapter seeks to illustrate and help to operationalize the mediation in Nitzl et al.’s (Indus Manag Data Syst 116:1849–1864, 2016) paper about mediation in PLS, published in Industrial Management & Data Systems, with examples of two potential mediations: a multiple mediation with two mediators and a multistep multiple mediation.
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