Partial least squares structural equation modeling in HRM research

Christian M. Ringle*, Marko Sarstedt, Rebecca Mitchell, Siegfried P. Gudergan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Citations (Scopus)


Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) has become a key multivariate analysis technique that human resource management (HRM) researchers frequently use. While most disciplines undertake regular critical reflections on the use of important methods to ensure rigorous research and publication practices, the use of PLS-SEM in HRM has not been analyzed so far. To address this gap in HRM literature, this paper presents a critical review of PLS-SEM use in 77 HRM studies published over a 30-year period in leading journals. By contrasting the review results with state-of-the-art guidelines for use of the method, we identify several areas that offer room of improvement when applying PLS-SEM in HRM studies. Our findings offer important guidance for future use of the PLS-SEM method in HRM and related fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1643
Number of pages27
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number12
Early online date7 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • guidelines
  • HRM
  • Partial least squares
  • review
  • structural equation modeling


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