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Generic regulation model: the evolution of a practical theory for e‐government

Göran Goldkuhl (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to present a new theoretical model (the generic regulation model (GRM)) which is aimed for e‐government development. There is a need for such a generic model in order to describe and analyse the regulation that occurs in the interaction between governmental agencies and citizens.


This new model has evolved through an action research project/practical inquiry in e‐government. The project area was personal assistance to disabled persons. The practical inquiry has comprised generation and application of the GRM model (as a kind of empirical grounding) and also some initial theoretical grounding.


In the e‐government project there was a need to conceptualize the relations between different governmental agencies and clients. As a response to this need a generic model and a corresponding situational model were developed. The generic model consists of three layers: legislation as general regulation; application of legislation for issuing decisions ( = individual rules), i.e. specific regulation; and application of general and individual rules in regulated practices. The paper also gives an epistemological account of the evolution of the new GRM model. GRM is considered to be a practical theory and it has evolved through a design‐oriented practical inquiry.


The paper presents this new GRM. The GRM model should be adequate to apply in many e‐government situations, since there are often regulation issues at stake. The GRM model should be used in the design and evaluation of e‐government applications.



Goldkuhl, G. (2011), "Generic regulation model: the evolution of a practical theory for e‐government", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 249-267.



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