Example of a Theoretical Framework — Thesis & Dissertation

04.01.23 Dissertation structure & sections Time to read: 4min

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An example of a theoretical framework anchors a research paper to a specific theory. Researchers use theoretical frameworks in various fields to provide a premise for the ideas proposed in a research publication.

Example of a Theoretical Framework – In a Nutshell

  • An example of a theoretical framework outlines the theory-based approach taken when conducting research.
  • The example of a theoretical framework comprises theproblem statement, research question, and relevant literature review.
  • A well formulated example of a theoretical framework is essential to guide your research and methodology in order to explain and summarize your findings convincingly.

Definition: Example of a theoretical framework

An example of a theoretical framework is a structure that defines the main ideas in a thesis or dissertation. It limits the breadth of the study by narrowing the focus to key variables and their relationship. Theoretical frameworks also give a researcher the specific structure that guides the collection and interpretation of the relevant data in a research proposal.1

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Example of a theoretical framework – Problem statement & research questions

The example of a theoretical framework is based on:

  • The problem statement – involves contextualizing the research problem. The researcher describes the specific issue that the study seeks to address and justifies the study’s relevance and primary objectives.
  • The research questions – are focused on a specific problem, and they should be feasible and researchable using various credible sources.
  • The literature review – is an overview of published works about a certain topic, and it outlines what is currently known versus the existing gaps.3

Examples of a problem statement and research questions


An insurance company is having a hard time cross-selling its products. The sales department has realized that most of the customers hold just one policy, although the company offers over ten unique policies. The company would like to have its customers purchase more than one policy since it is clear most customers are purchasing other policies from other companies.

The sales and marketing department wants to increase product awareness. They have concluded that more product awareness will improve the uptake of other products by the existing customers.


To analyze this problem, you have formulated a problem statement, objective, and a research question as follows:

  • Problem: Many customers are purchasing additional policies from other companies.
  • Objective: Selling more products to existing customers.
  • Research question: How can customer product awareness be improved to increase cross-selling of insurance products?

In this study, the concept of “product awareness” is the main focus, alongside the chances that it will improve sales across other products. The example of a theoretical framework should analyze this concept and propose theories that discuss the relationship between the two variables.

Examples of relevant sub-questions:

  • What is the relationship between product awareness and sales?
  • How informed are the existing customers about the company’s products?
  • Which factors determine product awareness?

Example of a theoretical framework

In the following example, we define the concept of product awareness mentioned above.

Example of product awareness:

Kopp (2022) Explains product awareness as the degree to which customers are familiar with a company's product. She further emphasizes that product awareness is an important step in selling a new product and informing customers about other products or services sold by a company.
Marrs (2022) States that product awareness is the lever that associates a particular product with a company. She associates product awareness with visual cues that identify a product in the marketplace without a product name.
Spacey (2017) Offers a more detailed definition of product awareness, identifying prior knowledge of a product as a strong sales driver. He states that the first step in any purchase is knowing that the product exists in a company's product line. He continues to identify the impact of targeted marketing to ensure the right products are marketed to the right potential customers.

Spacey’s description is more compatible with the study as it highlights the importance of conscious marketing strategies to improve product awareness. Although Kopp and Marrs clearly define product awareness, they don’t propose an actionable step in analyzing product awareness.

The insurance company wants to maximize product awareness as part of its long-term strategy. As a result, targeted marketing will ensure the products are divided and advertised to the most potential buyers.

Spacey’s Product Awareness Work Plan

According to Spacey, the more aware your target customer base is of your range of products, the easier it is to sell more products to an individual customer. Spacey explains that product awareness simplifies promoting your products through different mediums, introducing new products, building a strong reputation, and retaining customers.


An example of a theoretical framework is based on the problem statement, research questions, and review of literature sources. These essential elements guide data collection, analysis, and generalization of the findings.

A research question is a component of an example of a theoretical framework in research. It is the specific question that forms the basis of the solution proposed by a researcher at the end of a study.

You need an example of a theoretical framework when undertaking a study with several existing theories. The theoretical framework assists you in reviewing your sources and creating the most relevant research questions.

Begin by identifying your main concepts and variables. Evaluate and summarize probable theories and show how your findings correspond to the identified theories.

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1 Sacred Heart University Library. “Organizing Academic Research Papers: Theoretical Framework.” Accessed December 15, 2022. https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185919.

2 Formplus Blog. “Research Questions: Definitions, Types and Examples.” July 27, 2022. https://www.formpl.us/blog/research-question.

3 The University of Edinburgh. “Literature review.” August 29, 2022.