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This article contributes to the limited literatures on small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Using an institutional theoretical framework, we analyzed fieldwork interviews with twenty SMEs and perspectives of 165 SME managers and workers in textiles, garment, and footwear industries,the most important wage-earning sector in Vietnam. Having understood in the context of a developing ‘‘market economy with socialist orientation’’ (thus a ‘‘Southern perspective’’), we find that socially responsible practices and expectations developed long before the arrival of CSR as a western concept and an MNC agenda. While identifying and contributing ideas concerning forms of ‘‘informal’’ CSR practices—influenced by social and cultural expectations—to the CSR/SME literature, we are conscious of the mixed effects of these practices and the ongoing nuanced negotiations between workers and managers in these SMEs. In our research, we found that it takes both domestic and international stakeholders to improve labor conditions in Vietnam under the banner of CSR.