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Sustainability along the global supply chain: the case of Vietnam

Listed author(s):
  • Antonio Tencati

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact that more sustainable sourcing policies by many multinational companies are having on the suppliers located in developing countries such as Vietnam. Questions are raised about the process through which CSR is reaching the country. Design/methodology/approach - The research was conducted in Vietnam thanks to the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization's (UNIDO) Regional Office. The survey was carried out on the basis of a questionnaire that was used as a support during the direct interviews and was sent electronically when the preferred method of on-site visits was not possible. A total of 25 Vietnamese enterprises were involved in the research. Findings - The results achieved highlight, on the one hand, how CSR does make business sense even in a developing country such as Vietnam and, on the other, the difficulties related to the way requirements of sustainability are moving from Northern consumers to suppliers in Vietnam. Practical implications - This process calls for new forms of collaboration involving firms along the supply chain, local authorities, international players, and civil society. Originality/value - The paper points out the unsustainability of the process through which corporate responsibility is being imposed on Vietnamese suppliers and how CSR, having become a mandatory requirement for access to international markets, might transform itself into a new type of technical barrier to trade. Therefore, CSR needs to be fostered rather than imposed, through the creation of innovative partnerships and locally-rooted solutions.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 91-107

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Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:1:p:91-107
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