Navigating a Turf War at Work

by Amy Gallo

You’re working on a cross-functional initiative that’s critical to your company. Given your position, you’ve assumed you’re in charge, but it seems your counterpart from another team has made the same assumption. And now you’re in the middle of a turf war. How do you determine who has authority? How do you navigate the situation with your boss, your counterpart, and others in the group? And even if you can come to an agreement, how do you make sure it lasts?

What the Experts Say

There are lots of reasons that turf wars can happen, says Jeanne M. Brett, professor of dispute resolution and negotiations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “Organizations evolve and change, ...

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