His research draws upon a range of qualitative and quantitative methods. His quantitative work with Steve Mckay, Domenico Moro, Dennis Young and Janelle Kerlin explores the relationship between different organisational revenue sources over time. In his qualitative work with Pascal Dey he focuses on the intersection between policy discourses of social enterprise and the day to day realities faced by practitioners. His article “What’s in a name” won the best paper award at the 2010 Public Administration Committee conference and since publication in Public Policy and Administration has been among the most cited articles in the world on social enterprise. In 2013 Simon won the best paper award at the EMES Social Enterprise Research Conference for “Playing with numbers: A methodological critique of the social enterprise growth myth. He is interested in supervising PhD students conducting research on the third sector and / or social enterprise / entrepreneurship / innovation.
Simon is Associate Editor of Social Enterprise Journal. He has sat on a number of government committees at national and European level. He is a reviewer for the ESRC and various academic journals. He has published in a wide range of academic journals, including Economy and Society, Housing Studies, Public Money and Management, Voluntary Sector Review and the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship. His research has been funded by bodies such as the ESRC, Medical Research Council and the OECD.