Orlando C. "Chuck" Behling
1933 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Orlando's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
(News story) BOWLING GREEN - Orlando C. "Chuck" Behling, recognized as an authority on organizational behavior and theory, who was a professor of management at Bowling Green State University, died Tuesday at his Belleair, Fla., winter home. He was 87.

He had recent health problems, his son, Karl Behling, said.

Mr. Behling and his wife, Dorothy, divided their year between Belleair and their summer home at Lake Owen in Wisconsin.

He retired July 1, 1995, as a distinguished university professor of management, an honor he received in 1986. In 1990 he was the first to receive a two-year professorship established by the former Mid American National Bank in Bowling Green and named after Ashel Bryan, the bank's longtime chief executive and a former BGSU trustee.

Mr. Behling joined the BGSU faculty in 1981. He was on the Ohio State University faculty from 1963-81. He was a former personnel administrator for manpower development and communications at Control Data Corp., Minneapolis.

He was author of articles on business management for professional and scholarly journals, particularly about leadership and motivation. He was co-author of the book Organizational Behavior: Theory, Research, and Application.

"He was a true intellectual," said his wife, Dorothy Behling, who retired from the BGSU applied human ecology department, where she'd been division head of apparel merchandising and design and fashion merchandising program director. "He was a true educator. He enjoyed being around bright young minds."

His focus was master of business administration students, and they named him "outstanding MBA faculty member."

Mr. Behling, in his 1986 distinguished university professor's address, said lay people are convinced a leader makes an important difference in how a business, organization, or government agency operate.

"Few academic researchers agree and those who do have considerable difficulty explaining how and why," Mr. Behling said, as quoted in the BGSU internal newsletter, Monitor. "And the history of formal academic research of leadership perhaps make most sense if it is thought of as long stretches of disappointment punctuated by modest peaks of enthusiasm."

Early attempts to explain leadership sought a single set of characteristics that set effective leaders apart. The outcome of research changed that approach.

"Researchers appear to accept as fact the idea that effective leader behavior must vary from situation to situation," Mr. Behling concluded.

A fellow of the Academy of Management, he had been president of its Midwest division. He was a former editor of the Academy of Management Review and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Business Research.

He also had been a licensed psychologist and was a member of the American Psychological Society and the Society for Industrial/?Organizational Psychology.

In retirement he taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and University College Dublin.

Orlando Charles Behling was born April 19, 1933, in Janesville, Wis., to Mabel and Frank Behling. He was a graduate of Janesville High School, and during Army service was stationed in Germany.

He had bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Well read across disciplines, he was witty and could vanquish most in trivia competition.

"He had one of the best memories I've ever seen," his son said. "He could talk on most any subject with great intelligence. The world's definitely a little dumber without him. He had the memory and the IQ, plus the work ethic. There was no stopping him."

Surviving are his wife, the former Dorothy Unseth, whom he married in 1956; daughter, Nancy Wasserstrom; son, Karl Behling, and a granddaughter.

The family will hold a celebration of life event later.

Tributes are suggested to the Cable Natural History Museum, Cable, Wis., or Suncoast Hospice, Clearwater, Fla.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Nov. 15, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
10 entries
January 28, 2021
I was a student of his in 1988 in the Masters in Business Administration program. He was a stellar role model that impacted my life. I write with deep appreciation to him and with sincere condolences to his family. Dr. Gonzales
Lucia Gonzales
December 3, 2020
We were so sorry to hear about Chuck passing away, especially since we hadn't seen you at all this past summer at the lake what with Covid precautions. We're thinking of all of you during this difficult time.
Tom & Betty Yankee
November 16, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Behling Family for the loss of your loved one, Orlando, "Chuck", and pray God gives you comfort, peace and strength.
November 16, 2020
DOROTHY, i am saddened and shocked to hear of CHUCK'S passing. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time.
joann friel
November 16, 2020
Chuck was a great researcher and teacher. Words cannot express how much he will be missed by his BGSU Management Department family.

Sherry E. Sullivan
undergraduate student and BGSU coworker
Sherry Sullivan
November 16, 2020
Our hearts go out to you. What an incredible life and legacy Chuck leaves for all of the lives he touched. May you sadness be replaced, in time, by all of the beautiful memories you shared. God Bless.
Barbara Sherman & Chris Walsh
November 16, 2020
The best mentor I could have had at the "Academy of Management" Journal at Bowling Green State University.
Lee A. Meiser
November 16, 2020
The best mentor I could have asked for , when I was the Copyeditor/Publications Manager for the "Academy of Management Review." at BGSU.
Lee A. Meisesr
November 15, 2020
I had the privilege of being his student and having him as an advisor. I quite enjoyed my interactions with him.
Prod Behling, second row, second from right.
November 15, 2020
Grief can be so hard, but your special memories can help you & your family cope. Remembering your loved one today and always. Please except my deepest sympathies.
Simone Taylor
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences