Strict Enforcement or Responsive Regulation? How Inspector–Inspectee Interaction and Inspectors’ Role Identity Shape Decision Making

  • Kim LoyensEmail author
  • Carina Schott
  • Trui Steen


In line with a general trend towards more responsive regulation, inspectors are expected to take inspectees’ needs and demands in account when making decisions. At the same time, inspection services increasingly apply instruments aimed at directing the inspectors’ actions. These contradictory signals can make the work of inspectors very difficult. By reviewing relevant literature, this chapter shows that not only inspectees’ behavior and characteristics, but also inspectors’ professional role identity, i.e. the way inspectors view their professional role, is critical to explain and predict decision making on the ground.


Contradictory signals Identity theory Responsive regulation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht University, Utrecht School of Governance (USG)UtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.KU Leuven, Public Governance InstituteLeuvenBelgium

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