Entrepreneurial Decision-Making Approaches of Award-Winning Women Business Operators in Kandy District of Sri Lanka


  • I.D.C Wijerathna Department of Management, Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education, Sri Lanka
  • Sarath S. Kodituwakku Department of Agricultural Economics & Business Management, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka




Women's entrepreneurship has been widely identified as a driver of economic and social development worldwide. However, literature in women entrepreneurship argues that women lag behind men in the SME sector, and women business operators are constrained. Some women business operators become more successful than others, even in a constrained environment. Therefore, this research aims to study the entrepreneurial decision-making approaches of award-winning women business operators in the Kandy district of Sri Lanka using theoretical lenses of effectuation and causation. A qualitative multiple case study design was adopted to achieve research objectives. The study sample was selected from the successful women business operators who have been awarded in "Star Awards" from 2014 to 2019. A purposive sampling method was used, and sampling was continued up to 30 cases. The data were gathered through face-to-face in-depth interviews using a topic guide. The data were analysed adopting three simultaneous stages: within-case analysis, cross-case analysis, and comparison of findings with the theory. The findings revealed that the entrepreneurial decision-making approach of the respondents does not change with the sector (i.e., manufacturing and service) they operate. Also, findings show that they had practised all five effectuation principles in their entrepreneurship processes.  However, only a few respondents practised the lemonade principle compared to the other four principles. The findings further revealed that the studied women entrepreneurs have become more effectual when starting up their businesses and have combined the causation approach with effectuation when growing/expanding their businesses. 

Keywords: Women, Entrepreneurship, Decision-Making, Effectuation, Causation