Journal Article
Drivers of productivity in Vietnamese SMEs: the role of management standards and innovation

Using a rich panel dataset of small and medium scale manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) active in the manufacturing sector in Viet Nam, this paper investigates the drivers of firm productivity, focusing on the role played by international management standards certification. We test the hypothesis that, accounting for technological innovation (product and process) and other variables related to technological capabilities, international standards are conducive to higher productivity, through improved management practices and business organization.

In line with the requirement of continuous improvement implied by most international standards, the main findings show that the possession of an internationally recognized standard certificate leads to significant productivity premium. We further find that the effect of certification on productivity is particularly strong for firms with technological innovation, located in southern provinces, and operating in more scale-intensive industries.

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