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Predictive model assessment in PLS-SEM: guidelines for using PLSpredict

Galit Shmueli (National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)
Marko Sarstedt (Department of Marketing, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany and School of Business and Global Asia in the 21st Century Research Platform, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Malaysia)
Joseph F. Hair (Department of Marketing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
Jun-Hwa Cheah (Department of Management and Marketing, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)
Hiram Ting (Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University College Sedaya International, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Santha Vaithilingam (Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Christian M. Ringle (Department of Management Sciences and Technology, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Hamburg, Germany and Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 25 June 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




Partial least squares (PLS) has been introduced as a “causal-predictive” approach to structural equation modeling (SEM), designed to overcome the apparent dichotomy between explanation and prediction. However, while researchers using PLS-SEM routinely stress the predictive nature of their analyses, model evaluation assessment relies exclusively on metrics designed to assess the path model’s explanatory power. Recent research has proposed PLSpredict, a holdout sample-based procedure that generates case-level predictions on an item or a construct level. This paper offers guidelines for applying PLSpredict and explains the key choices researchers need to make using the procedure.


The authors discuss the need for prediction-oriented model evaluations in PLS-SEM and conceptually explain and further advance the PLSpredict method. In addition, they illustrate the PLSpredict procedure’s use with a tourism marketing model and provide recommendations on how the results should be interpreted. While the focus of the paper is on the PLSpredict procedure, the overarching aim is to encourage the routine prediction-oriented assessment in PLS-SEM analyses.


The paper advances PLSpredict and offers guidance on how to use this prediction-oriented model evaluation approach. Researchers should routinely consider the assessment of the predictive power of their PLS path models. PLSpredict is a useful and straightforward approach to evaluate the out-of-sample predictive capabilities of PLS path models that researchers can apply in their studies.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should seek to extend PLSpredict’s capabilities, for example, by developing more benchmarks for comparing PLS-SEM results and empirically contrasting the earliest antecedent and the direct antecedent approaches to predictive power assessment.

Practical implications

This paper offers clear guidelines for using PLSpredict, which researchers and practitioners should routinely apply as part of their PLS-SEM analyses.


This research substantiates the use of PLSpredict. It provides marketing researchers and practitioners with the knowledge they need to properly assess, report and interpret PLS-SEM results. Thereby, this research contributes to safeguarding the rigor of marketing studies using PLS-SEM.



This research uses of the statistical software SmartPLS ( Ringle acknowledges a financial interest in SmartPLS.


Shmueli, G., Sarstedt, M., Hair, J.F., Cheah, J.-H., Ting, H., Vaithilingam, S. and Ringle, C.M. (2019), "Predictive model assessment in PLS-SEM: guidelines for using PLSpredict", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 No. 11, pp. 2322-2347.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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