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Employees’ territorial and conflict behaviours in open-plan offices
Keywords: Territoriality, conflict and open-plan office
Abstract: The connection between employees’ territoriality and conflict behaviours in Open-Plan Offices (OPOs) is less understood. The current study examines the antecedents and consequences of territoriality and how it may elicit employees’ conflict behaviours in the context of OPOs. Data were collected from 233 workers located in OPOs in Australian organizations. In line with predictions, concerns over reduced privacy, personal control and identity in OPO were positively related to employees’ engagement in territorial behaviours. Conflict emerged when territorial boundaries were intruded upon by other employees, and when co-workers perceived the territorial individual negatively. Additionally, territoriality (i.e. reactionary defences) mediated the link between OPO concerns and conflict (task, process). The implications of our results for theory and practice are discussed.