Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Adaptive management? Observations of knowledge coordination in the communication practice of Swedish game management

Hallgren, Lars; Westberg, Lotten

Abstract

Modern management of natural resources is guided by the normative theory of adaptive management (AM). Behind this theory lies a strong, albeit implicit, expectation that organisations aiming for AM have the capacity to communicate in a way that facilitates the required coordination of the knowledge perspectives involved. The aim of this article is to discuss the extent to which the communication practice of Swedish game management organisations facilitates coordination of knowledge corresponding to AM. Based on operationalizations of communicative rationality and agonistic pluralism, we use the concepts 'discursive closure' and 'discursive opening' to investigate how the coordination of knowledge is carried out through communication in relatively recently established organisations, the Swedish Game Management Delegations (GMDs). We analyse four communication episodes from GMD meetings and notice that multiple perspectives were expressed (discourse openings) but were not evaluated in a communicative rational way before being closed. The consequences of these closures were that knowledge perspectives with potential relevance, but with unclear validity for game management, were not elaborated upon, in terms of their truth, intelligibility, legitimacy or sincerity, which inhibited AM. The concepts of discursive closure and discursive opening proved useful for investigating communicative capacity. An important question which needs to be addressed to improve communicative capacity for AM is whether it would be practically possible to keep to the agenda and rules of the GMD meetings and still admit discursive openings about differences in perspectives.

Published in

Wildlife Biology
2015, volume: 21, number: 3, pages: 165-174
Publisher: WILDLIFE BIOLOGY

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

Communication Studies

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00005

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/75622