Faculty – Richard Boland, Jr.

Richard Boland, Jr. - Professor, Design & Innovation
Professor, Design & Innovation
Senior Research Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Peter B. Lewis Building 337
Office Hours: By Appointment Only

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. He 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 which are systematically undervalued yet dominate our meaning making.

Boland enjoys visiting at the Judge School of Business at the University of Cambridge for several weeks each semester, where he is a research director, as well as a visiting fellow at Sidney Sussex College.

PhD, Case Western Reserve University, 1976
MA, Northwestern University, 1968
BA, Northwestern University, 1967

Initially Appointed: 1989

Interests and Courses

Recent Courses and Syllabi

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Selected Publications

  • 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. E., Collopy, F., Boland, Jr., R. J. (2010).
    Dynamic Graphical Representation of Financial Statements: A Design Inquiry and Empirical Results
  • 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.
  • 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).