Outliers can seriously distort the results of statistical analyses and thus threaten the validity of structural equation models. As a remedy, this article introduces a robust variant of Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS) and consistent Partial Least Squares (PLSc) called robust PLS and robust PLSc, respectively, which are robust against distortion caused by outliers. Consequently, robust PLS/PLSc allows to estimate structural models containing constructs modeled as composites and common factors even if empirical data are contaminated by outliers. A Monte Carlo simulation with various population models, sample sizes, and extents of outliers shows that robust PLS/PLSc can deal with outlier shares of up to 50 % without distorting the estimates. The simulation also shows that robust PLS/PLSc should always be preferred over its traditional counterparts if the data contain outliers. To demonstrate the relevance for empirical research, robust PLSc is applied to two empirical examples drawn from the extant literature.
- Robust consistent partial least squares
- Robust correlation
- Robust partial least squares path modeling