Effective leaders are able to contribute directly by enabling competent and committed employees through encouraging them to perform well. Studies in the area of organizational behavior literatures have indicated that among the major factors affecting organizational success and failure are leadership styles and employee commitment. The aim of this paper was to examine the impact of leadership styles on academic staffs’ commitments in Madda Walabu University (MWU). The total academic staffs in the two campuses (Robe and Goba) were 914. The sample of the study consists of 231 persons, included 209 academic staffs and 22 leaders. Two separate instruments namely, multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ) and organizational commitment questionnaire (OCQ), were used to measure the impact of leadership styles on employees’ organizational commitment respectively. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. There is a significant positive relationship between transformational leadership behavior and organizational commitments. There is weak, but positive and significant relationship between transactional leadership style with continuance commitment and normative commitment, and there is no relationship for transactional leadership style with affective commitment. Significant and positive correlation exists between laissez-faire leadership style and continuance commitment, but insignificant and negative relation with weak correlation between laissez-faire leadership style and affective commitment; however, the one that does not have any statistically significant correlation of normative commitment with laissez-faire leadership style.
Key words: Leadership styles, employee commitment, MWU.