Since its inception four decades ago, there has been widespread adoption of the matrix organisational
design, particularly in project-based organisations. However, several challenges remain, one of which is
related to the ambiguity of authority as a result of the dual command structure. This study examines the
perceptions of the types of power and influence mechanisms used by the functional manager and the
project manager to influence project personnel, and the effect of these mechanisms on attitudinal outcomes.
The research used a two-phase design. The first qualitative phase validated the constructs of power and
influence. In Phase 2, quantitative data was obtained from 22 functional managers, 28 project managers
and 92 project personnel in South Africa, Italy and Canada from one large project execution technology
company. There appears to be a large perceptual gap between project managers, functional managers and
project personnel. Managers perceive themselves to be using aspirational and personal influence
mechanisms, whereas project personnel perceive the managers to be using positional, punitive
mechanisms. Relationships were observed between the perceived type of influence being used by the
managers and the project personnel’s satisfaction with their manager, overall job satisfaction, their
performance and level of engagement. Functional and project managers are associated with very different
attitudinal outcomes among project team members.