Marketing Measurement & Modeling

How to handle unobservable (latent) variables

Quick Info: Master ׀ Seminar ׀ English ׀ Winter term ׀ ECTS 6

General information

Target groupMaster students (M.Sc. in the second or a higher semester of BWL Master (PSTO 2018) + MBR)
Course typeSeminar, advanced seminar
RotationWinter term
Hours per week2 (seminar), 2 (advanced seminar)
GradingExam (open book) (50 % of grade) and poster presentation held in groups of two students (50 % of grade) - Detailed guidelines for the poster presentation will be announced in class.
Credits6 ECTS
Course languageEnglish
Time/RoomRefer to LSF for seminar and tutorial
ContactSusanne Adler

Course overview and structure

Marketing commonly deals with consumer attitudes, perceptions, and intentions. What these concepts have in common is that they are unobserved – they are latent. To measure such latent variables, marketing researchers routinely draw on factor analytical techniques. The objective of this course is to define and explain the fundamental aspects of latent variables and factor analytical techniques. Specifically, the course starts by introducing common paradigms for developing measurement instruments for unobserved concepts. The main part of the course introduces students to structural equation modeling, which has become a standard tool for analyzing complex inter-relationships between latent variables. Specifically, the course will focus on partial least squares as a crucial structural equation modeling method. Practical applications and the use of software programs are an integral part of this course.

The seminar consists of a lecture part (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Marko Sarstedt) and a hands-on exercise part (Susanne Adler).


  • Recap: Elementary statistics and introduction to factor analysis
  • Conceptualization and operationalization of constructs in business research
  • Fundamentals of partial least squares structural equation modeling
  • Assessment and reporting of measurement model results
  • Assessment and reporting of structural model results
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Outlook on advanced topics (e.g., higher-order models, measurement invariance, multigroup analysis, latent class analysis)

Important dates and deadlines

  • We have notified students who applied for the seminar. In case of any questions or other inquiries, please contact Susanne Adler.
  • The seminar application will open on September 15, 2023, and follows a first-come-first-served principle.
    We will notify you whether you receive a seminar place or will be placed on a waiting list by October 9, 2023.
  • Please note that registration is binding upon attending the kick-off meeting
  • Kickoff session: October 17, 2023, (02:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m., room 024 Ludwigstr. 28 RG)
  • LSF examination registration: December 11, 2023 to January 14, 2024
  • Exam (60 minutes, open book exam): January 18, 2024, 04:30 p.m. to 05:30 p.m. (room: Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1(B), B 006)
  • Final poster presentations: January 23, 2024, 04:00 p.m. to 08:00 p.m., Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (A), A 017; and January 24, 2024, 02:00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m., room 211b, Ludwigstr. 28 VG – please bring your poster to the session and
  • Submit an electronic version of your poster (pdf) to Susanne Adler by January 22, 2024, 11:59 p.m.