Patron-client relationships in a restructuring economy
An exploration of inter-organizational linkages in Vietnam

Stephen J. Appold
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore
Dinh the Phong
Development Research and Consultancy Center
Hanoi, Vietnam 

On the basis of data on the relationships between almost 60 key individuals employed in Vietnamese heavy and light industry, this paper contrasts two competing explanations for the poor performance of enterprises in post-socialist economies.  Each explanation has opposing implications for policy.  The first explanation, managerial control-loss, is based on asymmetric information, the second, rent-seeking, on asymmetric dependencies.  Because each of the two mechanisms of inefficiency rests on distinct social network patterns, we are able to assess the salience of each explanation.  The paper explores the nature of the relationships between 1) officials in "line Ministries" and enterprise directors, 2) Ministry officials and their co-workers, and 3) between the managers of different enterprises.  The nature of these relationships is important for understanding the past performance of the state sector in the Vietnamese economy and is key to understanding how to successfully restructure economies.

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 50: 47-76 (2001)

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