While in an organization when a department works only for their objective rather than organization as whole, it can be generally called as silo mentality (with Negative connotation).

However what would be single word or phrase when one of the department manager tries blur the lines of responsibility between departments. i.e. does other work for them with/without their consent (usually with intention of brownosing other frivolous/ slacker but apparently powerful managers) such that their staff remain free of work.

As opposed to silo mentality the word or phrase would be "Responsibility blurring mentality". But is their any in actual usage.

  • I'm sorry. You have too many conditionals to the point of the phrase. You cannot expect a direct answer from such a qualified, conditional requirement.
    – Elliot
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 3:23
  • "with intention of brown-nosing" : brown-nosing. The title asks for sand bagging or dogging it; you're looking for the opposite.
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 22:35

2 Answers 2


Such activity may be termed stepping/treading on someone's toes.

If you step or tread on someone's toes, you say or do something that upsets or annoys that person, especially by involving yourself in matters that are not your responsibility.

[Cambridge Dictionary]

From Facebook.Global ELT (re-ordered]:

To tread on someone's toes is to offend or insult someone, especially by trespassing on [their] field of responsibility.

  • His colleagues felt that he was treading on their toes.

Encroach the responsibilities/duties of his staff? encroachment of responsibility/duty?

"The department manager eschewed his executive role and encroached/assumed/shouldered his staff's responsibilities/duties."

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