Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Environmental regulators have embraced management-based regulation as a flexible instrument for addressing a range of important problems often poorly addressed by other types of regulations. Under management-based regulation, regulated firms must engage in management-related activities oriented toward addressing targeted problems—such as planning and analysis to mitigate risk and the implementation of internal management systems geared towards continuous improvement. In contrast with more restrictive forms of regulation which can impose one-size-fits-all solutions, management-based regulation offers firms greater operational choice about how to solve regulatory problems, leveraging firms’ internal informational advantage to innovate and search for alternative measures to achieve the intended results more cost-effectively. Drawing on both illustrative cases of management-based regulation and on available empirical research, this chapter explains management-based regulation’s relative advantages and disadvantages as well as the likely conditions for its effective use.


Management systems, meta-means regulation, flexible regulatory instruments, mandated self-regulation, process standards, risk management, administrative law, public administration, compliance

Publication Title

Policy Instruments in Environmental Law

Publication Citation

In Policy Instruments in Environmental Law (Kenneth R. Richards and Josephine van Zeben, eds., Edward Elgar 2020)