To tackle social problems inspectors need to organize the involvement of others. The involvement of others fosters inspectors to create a wider picture of the situation and expand their repertoire of actions. The literature on regulatory bureaucracies overlooks the need to organize the involvement of relevant others. The concept of collective discretionary room fills this gap. Collective discretionary room organizes: (1) interaction between inspectors, regulated services, citizens and all relevant others, (2) reflective processes that open up opportunities to improve ways of working and enhance responsiveness. In addition, the notion of collective discretionary room explicates skills inspectors need to develop that is the skill to recognize alternative views and to demonstrate impact. With the example of the Joint Inspectorate Social Domain in the Netherlands, we illustrate how inspectors involve others in these ways.

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Keywords Discretion, Inspectors, Network, Reflection, Responsive regulation, Street-level bureaucrats
ISBN 978-3-030-04058-1
Persistent URL,
Organisation Erasmus University Rotterdam
Rutz, S.I, & de Bont, A.A. (2018). Collective discretionary room: How inspectors decide with providers and citizens. In Inspectors and Enforcement at the Front Line of Government (pp. 187–204). doi:10.1007/978-3-030-04058-1_10