Matrix Management

Matrix Monday: Motivation

Continuing with our ‘Matrix Monday’ series, we report back on some of the limited literature available on matrix management. Today we summarise ‘Motivation by project and functional managers in matrix organizations’ by Steven C Dunn (Copyright American Society for Engineering Management, June 2001)

Functional managers within a matrix are normally seen as responsible for managing the well-being of an individual on a project team, while project managers are normally seen as responsible for managing project objectives, with little responsibility to employees’ behavioural needs. This study wanted to test whether this clear delineation actually exists or whether project managers do have some influence over the higher-level needs of an employee.

The research investigated and compared the relationships between project manager and project team and functional manager and project team, using  ‘motivation-hygiene’ factors developed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg to address job satisfaction. It examined how employees are influenced by functional and project managers and the data surveyed 222 individuals in 18 matrix organizations.

Although differences existed between organizations and depended upon the amount of time spent in project work, the study concluded that job satisfaction needs related to work attitudes are being provided for by a combination of functional and project managers.

Generally, it was found that while functional managers are responsible for the ‘factors avoiding job dissatisfaction, ‘hygienes. project managers are responsible for the ‘motivators’ (or factors leading to job satisfaction) – clear evidence that project managers do bear a significant responsibility for the well-being of project team members.

This article is one in our ‘Matrix Monday‘ series. If you have a literature review to contribute, or would like to know more about Global Integration’s matrix training and consultancy, please contact us.


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