• Ravindra Hewa Kuruppuge Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin
  • Aleš Gregar Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin
Keywords: Business longevity SMEs, tacit knowledge, family business


Whilst the majority of family oriented SMEs are suffering from survival problems in the long term, some businesses perform successfully over generations. This article explores the emerging themes which are related to the business longevity of family oriented SMEs in Sri Lanka. Addressing a lack of knowledge in the area, our strategy of enquiry used a qualitative approach coupled with semi-structured interviews; 17 owner-managers of family‑oriented SMEs were interviewed and the results were subsequently transcribed for the analyses. The results indicated that the founders’ tacit knowledge of producing goods or services, consequently transferred to heirs in family oriented SMEs, drive the survival of businesses for longer periods in Sri Lanka.


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