Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Research on Small Business Social Responsibility: Global Perspectives


This study investigates what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means to Vietnam’s small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) owners and workers, using Scott’s three-pillar (norms, regulation, cognition) institutional framework. The findings are based on factory visits and interviews with 40 managers/owners and 218 workers conducted in two sectors - textile/garment/footwear (TGF) and food/beverage processing (FBP) - around Ho Chi Minh City in 2011. Scott’s framework is useful in highlighting similarities and differences between these two sectors. We found more stringent state regulation and greater industry pressure on the quality and safety of products than on labour standards in both sectors. Most factories in the TGF sector assembled for the global supply chains and are under pressure by industry norms, while most companies in the FBP sector produced for the domestic market are subjected to greater state regulation. Moreover, contributing critical perspectives to Scott’s framework, we found an overlapping between the normative and the regulatory, and between the cognitive and the industry norm, which reveals how institutional and cultural pressures contribute to different outcomes in TGF and FBP sectors. We also contribute to Scott’s framework by analyzing the unequal power relations in the global supply chains and explain how different levels of linkage to the global systems explain different outcomes in FBP and TGF sectors. FBP workers in domestic-serving factories negotiated for job stability, whereas workers in the export-oriented TGF factories bargained for flexible work schedules in exchange for wages below the living wage and overtime work.


This is a draft chapter / article. The final version is available in Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility: Global Perspectives edited by Laura J. Spence, Jedrzej G. Frynas, Judy N. Muthuri and Jyoti Navare, published in 2018, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.