In disciplines other than IS, the use of covariance-based structural equation modelling (SEM) is the mainstream method for SEM analysis, and for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Yet a body of IS literature has developed arguing that PLS regression is a superior tool for these analyses, and for establishing reliability and validity. Despite these claims, the views underlying this PLS literature are not universally shared. In this paper the authors review the PLS and mainstream SEM literatures, and describe the key differences between the two classes of tools. The paper also canvasses why PLS regression is rarely used in management, marketing, organizational behaviour, and that branch of psychology concerned with good measurement – psychometrics. The paper offers some practical options to Australasian researchers seeking greater mastery of SEM, and also acts as a roadmap for readers who want to check for themselves what the mainstream SEM literature has to say.
Rouse, Anne and Corbitt, Brian, "There’s SEM and “SEM”: A Critique of the Use of PLS Regression in Information Systems Research" (2008). ACIS 2008 Proceedings. 81.