Professor Simon Down

Department of Management
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organisation

Contact details

JG SMith Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Simon Down is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization at the University of Birmingham. He has previously worked in the UK at Anglia Ruskin University as Deputy Dean for Research, Newcastle University, Plymouth University, and in Australia at Wollongong University. He has published books, articles and book chapters on small firm policy and regulation, self-identity, indigenous entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education in North Korea, social enterprise in Haiti, management history and ethnographic methodology in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Environment and Planning A, Human Relations, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Organization and the International Small Business Journal.


PhD in Management 2002, Univertsity of Wollongong, Australia

MA in Industrial Relations, Warwick 1996

BSc (Hons) (Econ) International History, London School of Economics


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.


Research interests

  • Small business studies
  • Organisation studies
  • Identity work
  • Management history
  • Ethnography
  • Social enterprise incubation
  • History of workplace ethnography
  • Small business regulation
  • Enterprise in challenging environments
  • Entrepreneurial startup


Farny, S., Kibler, E. and Down, S. ‘Collective emotions in institutional creation work’, accepted for publication July 6th 2018 by Academy of Management Journal.

Wainwright, T., Kibler, E., Heikkilä, J. P., and Down, S. ‘Elite entrepreneurship education: translating ideas in North Korea’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 50(5): 1006-1026.

Pollard, J., Richter, P., Down, S. and Ram, M. (2018) ‘Financialisation and small firms: a qualitative analysis of bio-science and film and media firms’, International Small Business Journal (36(3): 247–264.

Giazitzoglu, A. and Down, S, (2017) ‘Performing entrepreneurial masculinity: an ethnographic account’, International Small Business Journal, 35(1): 40-60.

Down, S. (2015) ‘Narratives of Enterprise revisited: methodological appendices in ethnographic books’, Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(1): 28 – 43.

Kautonen, T., S. Down and M. Minniti (2014) ‘Ageing and entrepreneurial preferences’, Small Business Economics, 42(3): 579-594.

Swail, J., Down, S. and 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.