How to write managerial implications

You have conducted your study, reported your results, and reflected on existing theories, but then, what should the industry do in practice given the results that you have found.

Managerial implications summarize what the results mean in terms of managerial actions. In other words, managerial implications compare the research results to the specific marketing actions, decisions, or guidelines. In writing, it is important to indicate what specific action—or even non-action—should be taken in response. The idea is to change the way managers think or implement marketing actions.

Importantly, managerial implications should focus only on the evidence provided in the research. In other words, you should not suggest managerial implications that your research does not suggest or evidence to be effective. This section represents the moment where you tell the reader what should or must be done based on your research findings. It differs from the theoretical contributions, but it is somehow related.

The managerial implications section represents one of the last sections of your research before the limitations and avenues for futures research and the listing of the references. It is a fairly brief section. Nonetheless, it is a very important section. It would be best if you showed both creativity and expertise to interpret results and propose solutions.

Common mistakes

  • Rehash empirical findings without “interpreting” from a managerial standpoint.
  • Suggest implications that are not based on the research findings.
  • Stretching too far and going beyond the findings.
  • Not thoughtful, too intuitive, too obvious.
  • Restate what managers are already doing right now.
  • Generalize implications while the research has methodological issues (e.g., sample).
  • Discuss non-significant results because care must be taken with the interpretation.

Tips to help you to write managerial implications

Only develop recommendations that are based on your own results

You can have many ideas, but if there are not based on your findings, you do not have the authority to discuss them. Therefore, you can only develop recommendations within the scope of your results.

Considers the feasibility of your recommendations

In other words, think in terms of investments. What would be the investment if a company wants to implement your idea? It could be in terms of financial investment, time involvement, human resources, and investment return. Is it a feasible idea if you consider the investment and the return on investment?

The importance of the problem you are trying to solve

You can have a great idea, but it is useless if it does not solve a critical organizational problem. Therefore, good recommendations try to solve important organizational problems.

The originality of your idea

The last thing you want to do is recommend something that has been implemented several times.

Organize into subsections

For instance, each subsection could highlight a recommendation or address a type of manager (brand managers, category managers, investors, non-profitable organizations, etc.).

Incorporate some examples

It could be useful to illustrate your managerial implication with a concrete example.

Few tips with the phrasing

  • Our results confirm to managers…
  • Our results indicate to managers…
  • Our results suggest to managers…
  • Our results illustrate that managers…
  • Our results inform managers that…
  • Our results reveal that managers…
  • Our results seem to suggest that managers…
  • Based on our results, managers should…

Example of a managerial recommendation

The aim of recruiters is to recruit the right candidates but also to optimize their advertising investments. Although personalization is a heuristic cue that positively biases the attitudinal responses of potential employees through the self‐referencing effect, according to our results, personalization also promotes a more negative attitude toward the ad and reduces click intention and job‐pursuit intention regardless of the perceived relevance of targeting the job offer. Therefore, personalization does not appear to be a marketing tactic for which recruiters should have high expectations. Nevertheless, web users' attention is a scarce resource, and personalization could prove to be a useful strategy for recruiters as it could help to draw visual attention to their advertisements. By providing relevant job offers, the addition of personalized elements in advertising could thus enable advertisers to stand out in crowded web environments.