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.

FoR codes (2008)

150304 Entrepreneurship, 150314 Small Business Management



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.