local economic development; public service cultures; role of mutuality in public and social policy; governance design; user involvement and participation; member engagement and loyalty in co-operatives
Richard Simmons is a Senior Lecturer in Social and Public Policy in the School of Applied Social Science. He has successfully managed numberous research projects, including major studies funded by three ESRC Programmes ‘Democracy and Participation' (£125 000: graded ‘outstanding'), ‘Cultures of Consumption' (£145 000: graded ‘good'), and ‘Non-Governmental Public Action' (£165 000: graded 'outstanding'). Richard has also been either fundholder or lead researcher on a number of further projects (combined value £250 000), including a further ESRC-funded project entitled "The Participation of Members in the Governance of Mutual Businesses" (graded ‘good'), a SRB-funded study of social enterprises in the West Midlands, and projects for the NHS, Care Inspectorate, Scottish Executive, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, Carnegie Foundation and National Consumer Council. His latest research,funded as part of a EUR 7M EU project, looks at the role and potential of co-operatives in Serbia, where he is currently engaged in work to help develop co-operative approaches. Richard has a national and international reputation in the governance and delivery of public services and the role of co-operative and mutual organisations. His expertise is in increasing demand from academic, government and practitioner audiences. He has published in a wide range of leading journals, such as Public Administration, Social Policy and Administration, Policy and Politics, Public Policy and Administration, Annals of Public and Co-operative Economics, Review of Social Economy, and Housing Studies. His latest book, The Consumer in Public Services, is published by the Policy Press. Richard's research interests include the role of mutuality in public and social policy, governance design, public service cultures, and user involvement and participation. He welcomes enquiries regarding PhD supervision in any of these areas. He is currently developing work on public service governance, enhancing the learning from public service complaints, digital governance and participation, the social impacts of community provision of high-speed broadband in rural areas, public-cooperative partnerships, networks and local economic development, and a measurement tool for member engagement and loyalty in co-operative and mutual organisations.