Prof Down is an expert in small business, identity work, management history and ethnography.
Professor Simon Down began his working life as an entrepreneur in the independent music sector before working for London Underground. In his late twenties, Prof Down studied for a degree in history at the London School of Economics. Simon then went on to Berlin where he taught English for a year. He returned to complete his MA in Industrial Relations at Warwick University.
Simon's current research work is based on a project he led in 2009 - 2012 entitled 'Situating small business regulation: a longitudinal study of how regulation is received, understood and used' (ESRC-funded £238k).
Latent forms of entrepreneurship in East Asia, UK Researcher, senior mentor and co-applicant in Royal Society/British Academy Newton Fellowship awarded to Dr Jukka-Pekka Heikkila, £100,000, January 2013-December 2014.
Graduate recruitment to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), funded by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), BIS/13/546, Co-investigator, £40,000, June 2012.
ESRC standard grant proposal: 'Situating small business regulation: A longitudinal study of how regulation is received, understood and used'. Principal Investigator, with Prof Jane Pollard (Newcastle, Geography), Prof Monder Ram, OBE (De Montfort), and Paul Richter (Newcastle) £238,000, evaluated as ‘Very Good’, May 2014.
ESRC CASE studentship entitled 'Entrepreneurial Intentions in an Entrepreneurially Lagging Region: An analysis of the reasons for relative under-performance in North East England', Ben Whiston appointed September 2009, £18,000 annually for three years.
Giazitzoglu, A. and Down, S, ‘Performing entrepreneurial masculinity: an ethnographic account’,International Small Business Journal, forthcoming, accepted August 2015.
Down, S. (2015) ‘Narratives of Enterprise revisited: methodological appendices in ethnographic books’, Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(1): 28 - 43.
Kautonen, T., Down, S. & Minniti. Ageing and entrepreneurial preferences. Small Business Economics 42(3): 579-594.
Swail, J., Down, S. & Kautonen, T. 2014. Examining the effect of entre-tainment as a cultural influence on entrepreneurial intentions, International Small Business Journal, 32(8): 859-875.
Down, S. 2012. Evaluating the impacts of government policy through the long view of life history. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 24(7-8): 619-639.
Down, S. 2012. A historiographical account of workplace and organizational ethnography. Journal of Organizational Ethnography 1(1): 72 - 82.
Down, S. & Reveley, J. 2009. Between narration and interaction: Situating first-line supervisor identity work. Human Relations 62(3): 379 - 401.
Down, S. & Hughes, M. 2009. When the 'subject' and the 'researcher' speak together: Co-producing organizational ethnography in S. Ybema, D. Yanow, H. Wels, F. Kamsteeg (Eds.), Organizational Ethnography: Studying the Complexity of Everyday Life, London: Sage.
Reveley. J. & Down, S. 2009. Stigmatization and self-presentation in Australian entrepreneurial identity formation in Hjorth, D, and Steyaert, C. (eds.) The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Down, S. & Warren, L. 2008. Constructing narratives of enterprise: Clichés and entrepreneurial self-identity. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research 14(1):4-23.
Kautonen, T., Down, S. & South, L. 2008. Enterprise support for older entrepreneurs: the case of PRIME in the UK. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research 14(2): 85-101.
Down, S., Garrety, K., & Badham, R. 2006. Fear and loathing in the field: Emotional dissonance and identity work in ethnographic research. M@n@gement 9(3): 87-107.
Reveley, J., Down, S. & Taylor, S. 2004. Beyond the boundaries: An ethnographic analysis of spatially diffuse control in a small firm. International Small Business Journal 22(4): 349-367.
Down, S. & Reveley, J. 2004. Generational encounters and the social formation of entrepreneurial identity - "young guns" and "old farts". Organization 11(2): 233-250.
Down, S. (2010) Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business. London: Sage
Down, S. (2006) Narratives of Enterprise: Crafting Entrepreneurial Self-identity in Small Firm. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Speaker at workshop, ‘Regulating work and employment: recent changes and future prospects’, talk entitled ‘Situating small business regulation’, University of Birmingham, December 2014.
Invited seminar, ‘A relational examination of regulation and the entrepreneurial small firm’, Nottingham University, December 2014.
Sebastian, S., Hirst, A., & Down, S. 2014. Gendered Organizing: An ethnohistory of women at work. Paper presented at the Management and Business History track at the BAM Conference, Belfast, 9-11 September.
Popova, I. & Down, S. 2014. Business incubators as liminal spaces. The 9th Annual Liverpool Symposium on Current Developments in Ethnographic Research in the Social and Management Sciences in association with the Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Ipswich, 27-29th August.
Invited seminar, ‘Strategic adaptation of growing firms to regulation: a longitudinal analysis of the informality-formality span’, University of Sheffield, May 2014.
Speaker at PhD workshop at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland ‘how to write and publish quality journal articles based on qualitative data’, May 2014.
Speaker at Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS) workshop at Kingston University, ‘Impact, audiences and the conduct of qualitative research’, May 2013.
Invited seminar, ‘Strategic responses of growing firms to regulation over time: a longitudinal and behavioural analysis of the formalisation process’, Strathclyde University, April 2013.
Keynote at Advancing European Traditions of Entrepreneurship Studies March 2013, Leeds. Invited speaker at De Montfort University, Regulations and Small Firms: Boon or Burden? Small Firm Seminar Series 2012, 05 December 2012, together with Martin Traynor, Group Chief Executive of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce and the Regulatory Policy Committee.
Keynote at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, Centre for SME Research SME regulation : building better policy, September 2012
Keynote speaker at Liverpool-Keele Ethnography Symposium. Understanding our craft: why we need historical and historiographical accounts of workplace/organisational ethnographic scholarship. August 2012.
Organiser of Where next for small business regulation? Building better policy workshop held at BIS Conference Centre, London, June 2012. The workshop presented findings from the ESRC small business regulation project to a policy-oriented audience.
Simon has appeared extensively on BBC radio and TV and welcomes invitations to speak about entrepreneurship and small business issues.