The chapter begins with the cultural and historic

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The chapter begins with the cultural and historic context of industry in Vietnam. It goes on to explore how evolving government policy has driven change, resulting in the current structure of SMEs. The chapter then presents a narrative and insti- tutional theory framework to examine the organization of textiles and garment SMEs and role of governance in their environmental behavior and adaptation. The chapter closes with a discussion of future directions for the industry in a changing world. 88 N.H. Nguyen et al.
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2 Background to the Study 2.1 Cultural and Historical Context There are distinct periods in the history of Vietnam that have shaped today s institutions and society (Adger et al. 2001 ). These are the period of the Dynasties; the Colonialism period, which included the American war; and the most recent period of renovation from 1986. The years of the Imperial Dynasties were marked by the wars with China, who heavily in fl uenced Vietnam s technology and culture. The Vietnamese became familiar with the Chinese writing systems and the Chinese learning and arts. They adopted the ancient Chinese political system, which was based on Confucianism. This ideology stresses the importance of education, supposing that people were naturally good but needed education and a good example set by their superiors to keep them that way. It also stresses the moral development of individuals based on fi ve basic relationships: father/son; subject/ruler; husband/wife; elder brother/ younger brother; and friend/friend. The government in a Confucian society ideally favors morality rather than coercion. Nevertheless, the Vietnamese interpreted Confucianism differently in many cir- cumstances (Cima 1987 ). For example, in contrary to the Chinese, who emphasize loyalty to rulers only, the Vietnamese Confucianism stresses both loyalty to rulers and a sense of patriotism. Also, while the Chinese Confucians were against law and punishment, Vietnamese practice demonstrated a faith in legalist approaches. China s historical cultural in fl uence on Vietnam began to dwindle in the late nineteenth century (Le 2012 ). This occurred with the abolition of the test of Confucian s knowledge in all civil service examinations. However, after more than a thousand years of domination, the Chinese s cultural in fl uences on Vietnam could not disappear overnight. The country s history of Confucianism, which has tradi- tionally emphasized respect for authority, combined with many years of central planning has meant that citizens often defer to the will and views of the government (Hostovsky et al. 2010 ). In other words, public involvement in the operation of the Vietnamese government is still limited. The French expanded its colonies into Vietnam starting in the 1850s, which was accompanied by a big shift in the operation and governance of Vietnam. The French colonialists brought European-style administration to Vietnam and greatly in fl u- enced the Vietnamese culture, including the spread of Catholicism and the adoption of Latin alphabet. To date, Vietnam is the only nation of Indochina that uses the
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