Alexander Street Press Reviews | Glassdoor

Alexander Street Press Reviews

Updated January 29, 2017
10 reviews

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3.2
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Stephen Rhind-Tutt
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "A good ship in danger of drifting into the rocks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - --- in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - --- in Alexandria, VA
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Alexander Street Press (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    CEO full of ideas -- almost a visionary.

    Talented, passionate people.

    Work is interesting and socially meaningful.

    Relaxed atmosphere.

    Business genuinely tries to involve and inform hires.

    Cons

    No real goals or direction -- many missed opportunities and big announcements that go nowhere.

    Sales team wags the dog -- other business functions (product research, HR, development) afterthoughts or treated as cost centers.

    Lots of wheel-spinning and busywork -- staff lack ownership and have trouble moving things forward.

    Meeting addiction.

    Advice to Management

    Alexander Street got where it is by being enthusiastic first-movers, but didn't really build on it. Now newer competitors are taking over where ASP left off... Try and think more strategically, beyond next quarter's figures.


  2. "Missed potential, lost its way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Alexander Street Press (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting products. Enthusiastic, talented workers. Aims to be innovative and stand out. Management relatively up-front with staff, with monthly all-staff meetings and a yearly plan. Relaxed dress code, office layout. Family feel.

    Cons

    Acquired by corporate behemoth Proquest - slowly dismantling everything, mining the back catalog for $.
    Dysfunctional, emergency-driven working environment due to reactive, command-and-control, and myopic senior management.
    Most of them have sales background, so getting new sell-ready products out the door wins over everything else, no matter how critical to the company something is. Unless you’re in direct sales, expect to be unempowered, railroaded, and often blindsided, even if C-level.
    New hires quickly learn to ignore the monthly all-staff meeting and yearly plans. They're an exciting mix of project announcements, business opportunities, competitor matching, CEO’s “idea of the week”, etc. which are mostly ignored by management, because sell-ready products take up all time/resources.
    No desire to improve or act more intelligently. Cheap, hand-to-mouth mentality. Had $$ in the bank but wouldn’t use it to add competencies, diversify, build on success, or generally build up the company. No HR, training, employee support, etc. Best example: company name changed from “Alexander Street Press” to “Alexander Street” but management didn’t see the point in marketing spend, so on acquisition Proquest’s press releases used the wrong name!!

    Advice to Management

    What is ASP’s goal? Hint: “meet this year’s sales targets” is not a meaningful answer.
    Nearly fifteen years to build on, but when we got direct competitors, sales started tanking. You knew certain business models are dying and needed to pivot, but let things drift until competitors started doing it for us. Could have been the iPhone, but instead, wound up as Nokia.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Toxic management yet dedicated workers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Alexander Street Press full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of great people work there yet none of them are in management. Wear whatever you want. No offices.

    Cons

    Lots of upper management for such a small company. 4 VPs in a department of 10 people. All were ineptly managing in a bullying fashion. Terrible communication yet they spend endless hours talking about how they value it.

    Advice to Management

    Have less of it. Too many layers. Makes no sense.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Growing company with great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Marketing in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Alexander Street Press full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smartest group of colleagues i have ever worked with. Creative, innovative, team-oriented, and creates quality products.

    Cons

    Lacks clarity in road to career advancement; lots of flip-flopping and indecisiveness from upper management; somewhat cheap.

    Advice to Management

    Make a decision and stick with it, spend more to retain current employees and create a professional environment.


  5. "Fast paced environment with plenty of opportunity for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    flat structure - you can promote an idea or address a concern to someone who can get an answer without waiting to escalate the issue through 10 layers of management.
    unique values - few companies list humility as a value, but the Press stands behind the idea that it is better to ask for help and seek advice.
    innovation - the Press seeks out new content and solutions, we're currently working on a new offering that is exciting and groundbreaking.
    employee growth - several employees have started in an entry level role in one area and moved to another as the company has grown.

    Cons

    fast growth over the years has meant some of the company's processes are not yet stable or simplified.
    some of the experiments of the past need some investment to support current customers.

    Advice to Management

    invest in people
    continue to seek out new markets and content sets
    continue to invest in the infrastructure


  6. "Still acting like a start-up company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Alexander Street Press full-time

    Pros

    - Very hard working non-management staff
    - Innovative ideas
    - Trying to improve employee satisfaction
    - New website looks fantastic and professional now

    Cons

    - Stressful environment with little to no training for new staff.
    - Hard to move up career wise due to small company (less than 130 employees globally) and limited budget.
    - No 401k match and does profit share instead.
    - Constantly worrying about the budget and if employee's profit share will be affected.
    - Open space environment with no proper office furniture and no dress code.
    - The physical location of the Alexandria headquarter is a joke. Hard for anyone to take you seriously when your office is located on top of a Wild Bird Center and in a ghetto retail shopping center. My 2nd interview was held in a meeting room that you can feel the laundry mat shaking underneath you.

    Advice to Management

    Take the plunge to invest in a better office space and invest more on your non-management staff. Only hiring more senior managers will not help the company.


  7. "An exciting environment to work in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Alexander Street Press full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I love working at ASP because it's a breath of fresh air from the large corporates my friends work at. Instead of spending time navigating internal politics, I spend time helping to make decisions. If something doesn't make sense, I'm encouraged to ask and people would far rather get questions out than push them off. There's a lot of ownership in roles here too - I don't have lots of layers above me to get sign off about things, and once a decision has been made I can push ahead with it. As a result, I feel I'm learning a lot more and can walk away with some really great achievements to my name. There are also lots of smart people here to work with and I'd much rather be surrounded by a peer group that stimulate me. At the end of the day, we're growing successfully and winning awards (we got into the econtent's top 100 digital tech companies for the second time in a row last year) - which is great for my resume.

    Cons

    You won't like it here if you're not comfortable with open communication - there are no private offices and it's all open plan. And the office isn't upscale if that's important to you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring great people

  8. "I recommend."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Saint Petersburg (Russia)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Saint Petersburg (Russia)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very interesting deal. Writing alpha is a future of trading.

    Cons

    Long work day and managment often don't hear opinion of anither researchers.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Innovative organisation welcoming engaged participation at all levels"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Alexander Street Press full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    flat hierarchy, with open communication at all levels
    goal and objective driven, nimble, management not afraid of change
    customer centric, considers all stakeholders in decision making
    rewards those who speak up and push back with justification, decision makers, and people who solve problems rather than share them

    Cons

    can get caught up in the planning process
    has struggled with accountability at all levels, but is in process of implementing a people-strategy that is helping
    sometimes needs to be reminded of the non-U.S. scope of the business

    Advice to Management

    Providing a voice to all staff is important, so you need to ensure managers are not only trained to listen and empowered to act on ideas of their teams, and they do so.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Cliquish group run by an egotist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great content
    Reputation for innovation
    Dedicated workers at the lower level
    Fantastic development team.

    Cons

    All the "leadership" team have personally been selected by the president of the company and would not dream of counteracting him. They are "yes men" in the fullest sense of the word. High turnover due to low morale and frustration. Power is held in the hands of a very few and they are terrified of contradicting the president. Reputation in the industry as being eccentric. Growing lack of credibility in the marketplace from customers.

    Many people who should not be managers in any sense of the word.

    No real standards; subjective hiring, measurement of performance, and firing. Most longterm employees have since fled the roost.

    Advice to Management

    Implement a real performance management system. Publish company objectives and standards both company wide and for individual performers. At least try to maintain the appearance of objectivity.