Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management, Operations and Marketting


This thesis examines the entrepreneurial decision-making and expertise acquisition process of business owners who borrow from a large microfinance institute in Sri Lanka. Due to the small size, informal nature, and family involvement in their businesses, these borrowers, who are mainly women, are termed micro-entrepreneurs. This study uses effectuation (i.e., means-driven thinking) and causation (i.e., predictive thinking) theories in entrepreneurship (Sarasvathy 2001) to examine business decision-making and examines the link between effectuation/causation and deliberate practice (i.e., continuous rehearsal of tasks for performance improvement) (Ericsson 2006a). The thesis used a mixed method approach with data collected from a survey, interviews, daily activity journals, group discussions, focus groups, and observations. Both quantitative and qualitative analytical tools were used to analyse the data.