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.
PhD, Case Western Reserve University, 1976
MA, Northwestern University, 1968
BA, Northwestern University, 1967
Interests and Courses
Recent Courses and Syllabi
- Qualitative Inquiry II
- Directed Studies Seminar
- Qualitative Inquiry I
- Theoretical Perspectives in Management
- Yoo, Y., Boland, Jr., R. J., Lyytinen, K. J., Majrczchak, A.
Organizing for Innovation in the Digitized World (vol. 23, issue 5, pp. 1398–1409). Organization Science.
- Zhao, L., Grant, J. E., Collopy, F., Boland, Jr., R. J.
Dynamic Graphical Representation of Financial Statements: A Design Inquiry and Empirical Results
- Boland, Jr., R. J., Collopy, F., Lyytinen, K. J., Yoo, Y.
Managing as Designing: Lessons for Organization Leaders from the Design Practice of Frank O. Gehry (vol. 24, pp. 10-25). Cambridge, MA: Design Issues.
- Lyytinen, K. J., Boland, Jr., R. J.
Communicating through Thick Boundaries: the Case of Informing National Policy Making AoM 2012, Annual Meeting.
- Lyytinen, K. J., Boland, Jr., R. J., Jr, M. A.
Introduction to Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens (vol. 19, issue 3, pp. 1-9). Elsevier.
- 2008 Best Published Paper Award, Academy of Management OCIS. (2008).