MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Kate Graham

Geographical Areas



The author conducts the research question explaining their curiosity on which leadership style is the most appropriate to tackle anti-Black racism and advance racial equity. The preliminary investigation will utilize existing research, including Gooden’s (2014) theory of nervousness within public administrators and organizations, combined with transformational and adaptive leadership styles. Looking at the organizational structure and challenges of operating a large organization like the Toronto Transit Commission is the example used for this research. The research will show that using an adaptive leadership style is the most effective in eradicating Anti-Black racism and advancing racial equity in transit organizations. The research design used will be qualitative using content analysis from predominantly American research. Definitions of race and different forms of racism will allow the reader to understand the implications these constructs play in organizations. The analysis will show that transit leaders must adopt a new leadership style to advance racial equity while providing a succession plan for new leaders to advance this work. Furthermore, advancing racial equity and adaptive leadership into various Master of Public Administration (MPA) courses and within academia are critical moving forward.