Richard Boland, Jr.

Senior Fellow
Weatherhead School of Management
Department of Design & Innovation
Weatherhead School of Management
Senior Research Fellow
Judge Business School
University of Cambridge

Richard J. Boland Jr., PhD, does qualitative studies of individuals as they design and use information. His interest is in how people make meaning as they interpret situations in an organization or as they interpret data in a report. Boland has studied this hermeneutic process in a wide range of settings and professions, but primarily he has focused on how managers and consultants turn an ambiguous situation into a problem statement and declare a particular course of action to be rational. He has approached this in a variety of ways including symbolic interaction, metaphor, cause mapping, frame shifting, language games and exegesis. Most recently, Boland is fascinated with narrative and design as modes of cognition that are systematically undervalued yet dominate our meaning making.

Boland was initially appointed to Case Western Reserve University in 1989. His teaching includes Qualitative Inquiry, Theoretical Perspectives in Management, and Directed Studies Seminar. He has several publications and is the 2008 recipient of the Best Published Paper Award by the Academy of Management, Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS). In 2015, he received the PhD and DM Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award.

Boland is senior research fellow and research director, Judge School of Business at the University of Cambridge where he spends several weeks each semester. He is also a visiting fellow at Sidney Sussex College. A doctoral graduate of Case Western Reserve, Boland earned his MA from Northwestern University.

Initially Appointed: 1989


Case Western Reserve University
Master of Arts
Northwestern University
Bachelor of Arts
Northwestern University

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Information: A Systems and Design Approach
  • System Thinking

Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Awards and Honors

  • 2008 Best Published Paper Award
    Academy of Management OCIS


  • Lyytinen, K. J., Nagaraj, V. , Boland, Jr., R. J.,
    “Sense-shaping: The Dynamics of Sense-Making and Sensegiving in High Velocity Product Innovation”,  Atlanta, 4-8.8.2017: 51st Academy of Management Meeting, Technology and Innovation Management
  • Lyytinen, K. J., Boland, Jr., R. J.
    Communicating through Thick Boundaries: the Case of Informing National Policy Making AoM 2012, Annual Meeting
  • Boland, Jr., R. J., Lyytinen, K. J.
    The Limits to Language in Doing Systems Design (vol. 29, issue 4, ) EJIS
  • Woo, V. , Boland, Jr., R. J., Cooperrider, D. L. (2017).
    Thriving Transitional Experiences: Self-Knowledge Improvisation and Transformation Quotient in a Highly Dynamic World  New York, New York: Emerald Publishing
  • Lyytinen, K. J., Boland, Jr., R. J. (2017).
    The Limits to Language in Doing Systems Design (vol. 27, issue 2, ) European Journal of Information Systems
  • Yoo, Y. , Boland, Jr., R. J., Lyytinen, K. J., Majrczchak, A. (2012).
    Organizing for Innovation in the Digitized World (vol. 23, issue 5, pp. 1398–1409) Organization Science
  • Zhao, L. , Grant, J. , Collopy, F. , Boland, Jr., R. J. (2010).
    Dynamic Graphical Representation of Financial Statements: A Design Inquiry and Empirical Results   
  • Lyytinen, K. J., Boland, Jr., R. J., Jr, M. A. (2009).
    Introduction to Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens (vol. 19, issue 3, pp. 1-9) Elsevier
  • Boland, Jr., R. J., Collopy, F. , Lyytinen, K. J., Yoo, Y. (2008).
    Managing as Designing: Lessons for Organization Leaders from the Design Practice of Frank O. Gehry (vol. 24, pp. 10-25) Cambridge, MA: Design Issues


  • Johnson, S. L. (Presenter & Author), Boland, R. J. (Author Only), Cola, P. A. (Author Only), Aron, D. (Author Only), Wang, Y. (Author Only)  82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, "Communication and Knowledge Creation in Multi-team Systems", Academy of Management, Virtual. (2021).
  • Johnson, S. (Presenter & Author), Boland, Jr., R. J. (Author Only), Aron, D. (Author Only), Cola, P. A., Wang, Y. (Author Only)  10th Annual Conference on Engaged Management Scholarship, "The Effect of Goals on Team Shared Reality", Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. (2020).