It runs in the family: Meta-regulation and its siblings
Version of Record online: 22 NOV 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Regulation & Governance
Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 485–506, December 2010
How to Cite
Gilad, S. (2010), It runs in the family: Meta-regulation and its siblings. Regulation & Governance, 4: 485–506. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5991.2010.01090.x
- Issue online: 22 NOV 2010
- Version of Record online: 22 NOV 2010
- Accepted for publication 19 September 2010.
- enforced self-regulation;
- management-based regulation;
- principles-based regulation;
- process-oriented regulation;
- regulatory governance;
Regulators in different countries and domains experiment with regulatory tools that allow organizations to adapt regulation to their individual circumstances, while holding them accountable for their self-regulation systems. Several labels have been coined for this type of regulation, including systems-based regulation, enforced self-regulation, management-based regulation, principles-based regulation, and meta-regulation. In this article, these forms of regulatory governance are classified as belonging to one family of “process-oriented regulation.” Based on a review of diverse empirical and theoretical research, it is suggested that the family of process-oriented regulation tends to have a positive, albeit varied, impact on organizations' performance, and the factors that shape this inconsistent effect are analyzed. Building on aspects of Parker's normative construct of “meta-regulation,” the article explores the extent to which her innovative notion of a learning-oriented approach to regulation might overcome some of the weaknesses of prevalent process-oriented approaches. It is proposed that under conditions of regulatory uncertainty or entrenched and prevalent non-compliance or both, meta-regulation is likely to have many advantages over other forms of process-oriented regulation. Yet realizing these advantages requires a rare combination of high regulatory capacity, a stable regulatory agenda, and a supportive political environment.