What is it about?

Marking and defending, as well as expanding one’s territory, are human. At work, however, all three forms of territorial behaviors can build up barriers and limit positive exchanges with others. Territorial expansion at work can have positive effects for employees with a strive for ideals and desired goals to achieve growth.

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Why is it important?

We proposed territorial expanding as another form of territorial behavior, besides territorial marking and defending. Not all forms of territorial behaviors necessarily yield only negative outcomes, however. Our findings show ways to enhance positive outcomes of territorial expanding.


It is important to protect what is rightfully ours but sometimes with undesirable outcomes like driving people away from us and preventing mutual facilitation. This team is a wonderful testament to the model we built - we understood our, but also respect others', areas of expertise. The positive information and knowledge sharing, though time consuming and even frustrating at times, produced an output that we can claimed to be ours.

Chun Hui
University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Feeling possessive, performing well? Effects of job-based psychological ownership on territoriality, information exchange, and job performance., Journal of Applied Psychology, August 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/apl0001027.
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