Tradition, tension, and transformation: A structuration analysis of a game warden service in transition

John C. Sherblom, Lisa Keränen, Lesley A. Withers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Independence and competence define the traditional characteristics of a game warden. External pressure to transform the game warden service into a more culturally and ethnically diverse state law enforcement agency, however, creates tensions surrounding these characteristics in the organization's structurationally defined agency and reflexivity of law enforcement; duality of structure in office memos and citation counts; social integration and institutional reproduction of law enforcement training, use of decoys, and search and seizure procedures; and time-space distanciation of working a 40-hour week or having complete responsibility for a territory. The present study examined how these tensions interact with the traditional assumptions of independence and competence to transform the meaning of these characteristics, and of the game warden service itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-162
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Agency
  • Change
  • Competence
  • Distanciation
  • Duality of structure
  • Game warden
  • Independence
  • Institutional reproduction
  • Reflexivity
  • Social integration
  • Structuration
  • Tradition
  • Transformation


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