Regulatory oversight is a key feature of public governance. This study argues - based on recent trust research - that the way in which the relation between trust and control is conceptualized in the dominant responsive regulation theory (RRT) may be improved using self determination theory (SDT). RRT relies heavily on the game-theoretic tit-for-tat strategy to conceptualize cooperation/trust and repression/control as substitutes. A model is derived to show how regulator trust and control may complement each other in their effect on regulatee compliance. Propositions are formulated and implications for further research are identified. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.