To keep a network of enterprises sustainable, inter-organizational control measures are needed to detect or prevent opportunistic behaviour of network participants. We present a requirements engineering method for understanding control problems and designing solutions, based on an economic value perspective. The methodology employs a library of so-called control patterns, inspired by design patterns in software engineering. A control pattern is a generic solution for a common control problem. The usefulness and adequacy of the control patterns is demonstrated by a case study of the governance and control mechanisms of the Dutch public health insurance network for exceptional medical expenses (AWBZ). © 2010 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved.