Comparative study on transformational leadership styles of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela

Çakır, Aysu
The transformational leadership theory is among the most researched modern leadership theories over the past decades. Considering the increasing competition and globalization, the need for organizations to change and restructure their system became an inevitable tendency in the way of surviving and competing in such an environment. Since transformational leaders are the masters of change, they are the ones who have the ability to create new environments in those modern organizations with the capacity to design a vision and a better future. In this line, this thesis examines the comprehensive overview of transformational leadership through the leadership practices of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Both Gandhi and Mandela are widely regarded as iconic leaders who made indelible impacts on their respective nations and the world. This research seeks to understand how their distinctive leadership styles encouraged change in individuals, their country, and the world. This study delves into the transformational leadership dimensions of Gandhi and Mandela through a comprehensive analysis of narrative writing, including autobiographies, biographies, speeches, memoirs, newspapers, and other types of archival material, to acquire an in-depth understanding of leadership qualities and practices. Through analyzing their transformational leadership qualities and practices, this comparative analysis aims to contribute to the broader discussion of leadership in international relations literature, provide perspectives that influence leadership practices, and inspire the next generation of leaders to reveal transformational leadership potential.
Citation Formats
A. Çakır, “Comparative study on transformational leadership styles of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2024.