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On April 13th and 14th, 2023, several members of the ARGET research group attended the "Introduction to Partial Least Squares Modeling (PLS-SEM)" training at the Institute of Education Sciences (ICE) from the Rovira & Virgili University.

This was a 10-hour theoretical-practical course given by Antonio Luis Leal Rodríguez and Gemma Albort, two experts in this field from the University of Seville. The recipients, PDI and PhD students were interested in complex multivariate analysis, semi- or quantitative data analysis, making explanatory or predictive models and publishing articles in impact scientific journals using the PLS methodology.

The aim of this course was to provide attendees with practical and applied training that would allow them to become familiar with structural equation models based on variance, specifically PLS modelling. The Partial Least Squares (PLS) path-modelling technique, also called PLS-SEM, has become a very useful and accepted methodological tool when conducting empirical research studies in the social sciences.

Structural equation models, henceforth MEE (structural equation modelling, SEM) have become one of the most important recent developments in the field of multivariate statistical analysis. In recent years, its use has spread considerably among the social sciences, especially in the areas of business management, marketing and economics.

The seminar consisted of a short theoretical approach to structural equation models, focusing specifically on the PLS technique. Once the theoretical foundations of the technique were established, the seminar had an eminently practical character consisting of the construction and analysis of several models, as well as recommendations for the presentation of the results.

MEEs are multivariate techniques that combine aspects of multiple regression (examining dependency relationships) and factor analysis (representing immeasurable concepts -factors- with multiple variables) to estimate a series of interrelated dependency relationships simultaneously.

MEEs analyze simultaneously, systematically and integratively:

  • The measurement model.
  • The structural model.

The course also introduced the attendees to the use of SmartPLS 4 software, one of the most used among researchers and users of the PLS technique. PLS is a statistical tool that provides a great methodological opportunity to publish scientific articles in SSCI-JCR-indexed journals.