Le Thi Thanh Xuan, Tran Tien Khoa, Nguyen Thi Thanh Lieu

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Based on the fact that most of factories/manufacturers failed to comply with foreign customers’ requirements for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices from the first audits, the present study aims to explore SME exporters’ understanding of CSR requirements from foreign clients, motivations and obstacles for them to practice and implement CSR. In order to tackle the research objectives, qualitative approach is chosen and in-depth interview with owners, HR/CSR managers and production managers is employed to collect data. The research scope is firms/suppliers in hardlines (non-furniture and non-apparel) section. Thematic analysis is used to analyse and categorise data from interviews. The research findings show some crucial points. Firstly, CSR requirements from clients are not correctly understood. Secondly, there are seven drivers for CSR practices which match with previous studies. Lastly, six per ten obstacles to implement CSR are new findings in the present research context. From these findings, some recommendations are proposed to improve CSR practices in SMEs.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), motivations (motives), obstacles, SMEs


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