SAGE Publishing Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2020

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3.4
70%
Recommend to a Friend
84%
Approve of CEO
SAGE Publishing President & CEO         Blaise R. Simqu (no image)
Blaise R. Simqu
117 Ratings
Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent Company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology Governance Analyst in Thousand Oaks, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Attractive "Activity Based" working environment Generous benefits Excellent Work/Life Balance Strong values and company culture

    Cons

    No downsides to working here

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    SAGE Publishing Response

    May 29, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    Thank you for sharing that your time with SAGE Publishing is a great experience so far! We hope that our commitment to a strong and healthy company culture will continue to make your career at SAGE fulfilling and rewarding.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not a bad place to begin your journalism career"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sports Reporter in Douglas, WY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunities to grow and learn

    Cons

    Poor compensation and benefits but expected


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Struggling and it shows"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Marketing 

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time

    Pros

    Great people below director level, interesting work, good learning forum for employees.

    Cons

    Lack of work/life balance, favoritism, lack of transparency and trust.

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "Poor Management, Good Benefits"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Editorial Assistant in Thousand Oaks, CA

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Can make quality relationships with co-workers. Great benefits. Decent training/courses to take on-site. Fun company gatherings and events like Halloween competitions and Christmas parties. Work/life balance acknowledgement.

    Cons

    Poor management - unprofessional from some. Little advancement opportunities and low pay. When applying for positions in other departments, poor notification of next steps and final decisions from hiring managers.

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    SAGE Publishing Response

    July 10, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. The feedback we receive through Glassdoor allows us to review our strengths and potential areas of opportunity. It’s encouraging to hear that you enjoyed the trainings made available to you through our Organization and Development team while at SAGE. It seems, however, that you think an opportunity for continued trainings is being missed. We do have a comprehensive program of learning workshops focused on management and will continue to look at ways to promote these sessions to offer consistent learning for individuals in a leadership role.

  5. Helpful (2)

    "Cautiously Progressive"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Where to start? Educational and research publishing are brutal industries these days and there are many pros here to report. I am a remote outside sales rep and this review will reflect that reality. Elsewhere, your mileage may vary. If one wishes to work in this rapidly-changing and challenging industry, SAGE is one of the very best places to be. The company can be cautious and slow-to-move at times, but the decisions made at the top frequently make sense and - perhaps most importantly - are usually very closely aligned to what is needed out here in the marketplace. Though remote, I feel in very close contact with my employer. That is a good thing in my mind. I do not feel micromanaged or brow-beaten. I feel trusted to make decisions and empowered to do what I feel best to advance sales and gain market share. I feel as if I have most all of the tools I need to succeed, and help/advice is only a call or an email away. I cannot stress enough how important and wonderful it is to feel trusted - in many, many companies in our industry the opposite is the case and fear/caution is the watchword! How refreshing it is to wake up and go to work each day feeling like an entire company has your back! The management at SAGE, at least currently, is dominated by females - and that is a wonderful thing, too. The company values reflect it's southern California location in my mind. As others here have postured, the health insurance is insanely good and the well-being of employees seems paramount in management eyes. The HQ emails I receive reflect many of the little perks offered to internal employees: weekly free lunches and car washes, several raffles for sport, art and lecture events, easy and free access to personal and professional development opportunities (these are largely available to remote employees too). I actually feel valued at this company. Most people who interface with remote sales types know me by first name. If I speak up in a group conference call, they know me by voice. That is incredible. At least for now the company is small enough for that level of recognition, and that is beyond empowering. Content and product are largely aligned with the marketplace. SAGE is well-known by faculty and I am very often welcomed into faculty offices, even when customers (faculty) are pressed for time. SAGE does produce a "dud" book every once in a while, but by and large one can feel confident in the product this company is putting out. Again, this is rather unique in this industry these days. When we are faced with an especially challenging sales year, Management actually lowers the group sales goal so that more reps can make goal or at least realize a bonus check for getting close. What other company does this??? All in all, I cannot think of a better place to be in this industry - at least in my role.

    Cons

    Times are rapidly changing and SAGE is beginning to feel the pressure our larger competitors have long been facing. The SAGE response to change has so far been largely aligned with customer need, but it has been slower to come and in many ways we are playing catch-up, especially on the technology front. I am aware that the in-house experience is much different from what I experience as a remote employee. There is a quiet culture of compliance at the core of SAGE, and this can be mildly off-putting for someone not mouse-like. Certain divisions, such as Marketing, are a complete mess. There are very apparent problems at the top that I do not see but only hear of, and employees seem to come and go through a revolving door there. That severely damages our efforts, both out here in the field and otherwise. And yet, there has been no change at the top in that particular division. I do feel justly compensated, but I am very aware that those holding lower-level positions internally are not. I once asked a senior VP about this reality and her response was "that's the industry!" Well sure, that IS a reality of the publishing industry but with so much talk of doing things "the Safe way" I do not see why it has to be the way that THIS company does things! Sage likes to revel in and recognize its own culture, and in many ways that is justified, but what they do not seem to realize is that today's assistant can be tomorrow's Marketing Manager or Associate Editor. Those lower-level employees (who often enter with college degrees and at least some professional experience) are some of the most engaged, committed and knowing employees in the company and breeding loyalty with that crowd would only pay off in spades over the long-term. Underpaying them and allowing the revolving-door syndrome to exist is an enormous opportunity missed, in my mind. Times are tough, understood, but paying your low-levels well lessens the churn and makes for stronger promotion candidates longer-term. The current situation causes disruption in our remote world and sometimes it is very difficult to know who to contact for what, simply because positions are open and change so often. I wish the higher management types would change their attitude in this regard, it is a rare misstep. Times are very, very good in sales today, but that is largely thanks to a very smart and sensitive sales leader. Her days with the company are waning however, and one wonders how much longer this culture will continue. Our territories, all territories, are still a bit too large for comfort, despite recent expansion. This is balanced by the quality of the product and the Sage reputation in the market, but it is easy to feel as if you are leaving money on the table simply because there is not enough time to be everywhere you'd like to be. 401K is abysmal. There is no individual match, though the company does contribute a portion of the annual profits into one's fund. I wish this company were stronger in this regard. It is one of the few weak elements of employment with Sage. Diversity is non-existent, though there is lots of talk about changing/improving in this arena. For a progressive, southern California based, liberal arts publisher, this company is shockingly white. I am not sure how one begins to change that, but it is a real problem. There is a culture of conformity at play here at Sage. Polite is the watch-word. This is not a bad thing in many ways, but it can inhibit honesty and progress. For many years I was wondering where this company was hiding it's mean people and it turns out that there aren't any - or at least not many that I am aware of. This is great and all - it really is - but sometimes you feel like you really want to have an honest and upfront conversation about something not working and there is not a really good way to get that done. I do have to add that I will take polite over much of the management I have worked under elsewhere in publishing, but there should be a little more room for criticism and open group self-reflection. Not all publishing initiatives recently have been good ones. Some downright lousy decisions have been made recently, to be honest. Sage has chosen to enter the over-crowded and over-saturated Economics field, for instance, and that has been a near-complete waste of time. The same with some of the business disciplines - these people do not know SAGE and we are up against beloved and entrenched competitors. On the other hand, easier-money disciplines are completely ignored or under-developed: Marketing, Counselling, Education - even Social Work - disciplines where we could or should dominate do not receive the attention and development funds they perhaps should In an industry rife with Cons to list and lousy leadership, it can be difficult to come up with a strong list of Cons to post here, but there are areas where Sage can improve, just like any other company. It does seem that Sage management listens to their employees and they do take progressive steps in some ways, but as the title suggests change can be maddeningly slow to come sometimes.

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    SAGE Publishing Response

    July 10, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    Thank you for the kind remarks about your employment thus far with SAGE! We agree that to continue to adapt and grow, we must look to new talent as the future of the company. We strive to create paths of growth and learning opportunities for every employee at each stage of their career; your feedback regarding how to position this new talent does not fall on deaf ears. We’re pleased to hear that the decisions made continue to align with the current market and industry standards. We are proud of our commitment to quality content and are driven to deliver what our customers want in a format that serves today’s market. Thank you again for taking the time to leave feedback. We look forward to your continued growth at SAGE.

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Overall good place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - overall great culture - ability to grow professionally

    Cons

    -everyone discusses the "great" benefits package while ignoring the minimum compensation offered

    SAGE Publishing Response

    July 10, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    We’re glad to hear that your experience working at SAGE was positive and that you were able to grow in your career! Please know we value your feedback and will continue to benchmark compensation to be sure we are a match for the responsibilities, the geographic area, and the industry. Thank you for taking time to share your reflections.

  7. "Good Entry Level Position"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial Assistant in Thousand Oaks, CA

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Taste of everything, develop good transferable skills, and benefits.

    Cons

    Pay is low, culture can breed toxicity.

    SAGE Publishing Response

    May 29, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    Thank you for taking time to leave a review regarding your time with SAGE. Your feedback is important. The culture at SAGE is a defining part of our company, and we strive to create a welcoming environment for employees. We’re so sorry to hear that you did not experience this while working with us. If you're comfortable doing so, please connect with me at kim.robinson@sagepub.com, so that we may learn more to ensure our culture remains positive and healthy.

  8. "Overall a great place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Thousand Oaks, CA

    I have been working at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Employee benefits are the best I have ever seen. The physical work environment is great.

    Cons

    Systems are under invested in requiring a lot of manual processes. I have seen it in every department. There is a lot of mediocre training . It would be good to do an overhaul on training and make it more of a progressive type of program.

  9. Helpful (3)

    "The Excellent Benefits Are A Smoke Screen."

    2.0
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Former Employee - Marketing 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Comfortable salary and bonuses - maybe. I was fairly happy with my overall compensation package, though in time I've come to understand how drastically underpaid I was - and reading through these reviews, it seems that others managed to make that realization before I did. I also sense that there's a huge variance depending on starting salary and how fast you get promoted. A colleague in a similar role had an almost identical background and timeline as I did, but was paid 10k less annually than I was. Negotiate at the beginning. Benefits are undeniably incredible. Very good health and dental insurance for very little money. When I left, the insurance was what I missed most, and I'll probably miss it forever, though I suspect the underlying purpose of incredible benefits is to help you gloss over the other deficiencies of the company. Lots of perks. They treat you well in all sorts of ways: free company lunch on Fridays, PTO that increases with tenure, generous per diem when traveling for work. Lots of happy hours, lunches, and "mandatory fun" when managers are in town, or at sales meetings and group offsites. Lots of travel, sometimes to top-rate U.S. cities (and often to less exciting locales, but we're focusing on the positives here). Free flowing alcohol - heaven help you if you don't drink. Some great memories and stories, and opportunities to become close with colleagues. Collegial environment, smart coworkers, important mission and compelling history. A generally well-run organization with clear procedures and systems.

    Cons

    I want to stress that I largely enjoyed my time at SAGE and, while I was there, had very little negative to say about the work or the environment. With some distance, I had to admit that I'd bought in to the myth of SAGE and was solely focused on the positives while I was there, in what I can only guess is the sort of self-delusion people adapt for survival. While the Pros were true for me, there were also Cons that I'd subconsciously avoided facing, and I want prospective employees to be able to fully reflect on the type of environment they'll be stepping into. Fittingly, I would say that the overarching theme is "Cognitive Dissonance" or the company line not aligning with the reality. SAGE claims to provide a good work/life balance, and I believe that can be the case for others, but it wasn't for me or most in my division. Everyone around me was consistently drowning in work and either staying late or working evenings/weekends to keep up. There are a few causes: - Staggering reliance on email. I realize that "too much email" is a near-universal complaint about modern office life, but the influx of email here was unlike anything I'd experienced before or since. Because many colleagues are remote, the small questions and discussions that would come up organically in an office - around the water cooler or just by walking over to a colleague's desk - had to be made via email. It wasn't uncommon to get a flurry of late-night emails from colleagues who were obviously responding to messages en masse at the late hour because they had no other time. - Frequent travel - around 30% during the semester, with theoretical breaks during the summer unless you had conferences or other meetings (and you always did). This was the case for pretty much everyone in my division. I don't have to elaborate on the ways frequent travel can tax your health, home life, and work. You were still expected to keep up with emails after grueling full days on planes, on campus, or at conferences. Very little grace was extended when you needed a few extra days to complete a project or follow up on an email in these circumstances. - You know the phrase "work smarter, not harder?" Foreign concept at SAGE. We just... Did. So. Much. Every week was a new fire drill, deadline, project that had to be done immediately, huge meeting to prep for. The pace was relentless, nothing was automated, and everything needed approval from a whole tribunal. Worst of all, it was tough to draw a line between your unrelenting list of tasks and the monetary results/goals of the business, because at the end of the day, the work you put into something would frequently be ignored in the long term. The worst offender was the semi-annual sales meeting, which happens over three jam-packed days. It involved literal months of preparation on the part of editorial/marketing, all for a 1-hour presentation to hung over, near-indifferent sales reps who (understandably) didn't retain the info. Surely there are better ways to use our time. Compound the workload with way too many regularly scheduled meetings. Again, it ain't unique to SAGE, but SAGE is its own brand of meeting-happy, to the detriment of being able to do the actual job. At one point, a company-wide email attempted to set best practices for meeting efficiency (keep them to 30 minutes, only invite those who *really* need to attend, etc), which managers summarily ignored and continued to keep hourlong weekly meetings on the schedule. The irony of dragging everyone in the division to a 90-minute meeting and discussing the new meeting efficiency regulations was lost on my VP. Management knows that the workload is untenable, and will pay lip service to making things easier on everyone ("Protect your time! Decline meeting requests! Differentiate between 'must dos' and 'nice to dos'!"), but still makes the team abide by arbitrary deadlines, especially when they're set by other departments. And no one would ever actually decline a meeting. Many at SAGE have been there a long time and, like the lobster in boiling water, they can't feel how bad it's gotten. Put it this way: I let my manager know on days when I needed to leave *on time* (i.e. my full 8 hour shift). The default was working over. SAGE has the veneer of family friendliness, largely because of the excellent health care that covers the whole family and other superficial signifiers like a kids Halloween party and company picnic. Yet between the workload and travel, the company puts incredible demands on staff, leaving them precious little time to devote to family or, really, anything outside of work. When someone receives a plaque at the Christmas meeting and the CEO touts the employee and lists all of the family events she sacrificed for her job, the message is subtly but effectively delivered: it is expected that you will put work above family. Congrats on having a kids Halloween party every year, but the real way to improve things for families is to not burden them with workload and travel. Oh yeah, there's no official maternity leave policy either, which is bizarre since all the worker bees are women of childbearing age. Oh wait, maybe that's the point. SAGE has a rigid corporate structure, hierarchy, and obsession with levels. Some ways this manifests: - Inconsistently applied policies depending on "level." While I can appreciate that you earn more privileges as you move up the chain, it was hard not to feel a gulf of separation between me and more "senior" colleagues, even though our jobs were essentially the same (though mine without the attendant salary and title). Very differing policies on remote work (i.e. some colleagues worked remotely all the time, while others had to ask permission for the occasional work from home day) and different levels of trust and autonomy - again, we were all doing the same job with the same travel obligations and deadlines, but with differing titles came different treatment. - Micromanagement. Lack of empowerment at manager level and no one felt they could make decisions. Decisions had to be run up the chain for even minor things (like, Directors needed to approve convention swag). But I understand why, because the culture was deferential to a fault, and there were consequences to proceeding in a different direction than your manager, even for minor things. Working here had me questioning my instincts and constantly running things by other people for their approval. - Having to do more travel, usually to crappier conferences/cities. This might just be my personal experience, though. SAGE's culture isn't overtly toxic - no screaming in the hallways, tense meetings, or pervasive culture of harassment. What was a problem was more minor challenges like indirect communication (i.e. things framed as "suggestions" when they were actually directives, but weren't communicated as such), ideas being rephrased by "higher level" people and then suddenly being seen as brilliant, and favoritism. Favorites were given promotions into positions that hadn't even been announced - just "Surprise, so and so is promoted!" Usually via email. Management was surreptitiously choosing favorites to promote and not even giving others a chance to be considered. The more sinister side of this coin was re-organizations that ousted just one or two people - happened enough times for me to notice and find it upsetting. There are also a few instances of "promotions" that involve taking on the responsibilities of a role above you without receiving the corresponding pay/title. There are very demanding signing requirements (both in quantity and revenue potential) which puts tremendous pressure on editors to develop projects with potential authors and sign books by any means necessary. As a result, sometimes books would get published that simply shouldn't have been, whether it was because there was an entrenched competitor, the book had no clear unique selling point, or the market wasn't interested in the book. Everyone was still surprised when these books did not sell. That the company is now facing some financial troubles should not come as a surprise, either. You have to decide if you're ok with that, but don't expect the kind of job security SAGE has largely provided until now.

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    SAGE Publishing Response

    May 29, 2020Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development

    We appreciate you taking the time to leave thoughtful feedback on your experience during your time at SAGE. You covered a lot of valuable territory and touched on both macro and micro opportunities for reflection. We realize that as we continue to grow, there are areas where we can make impactful changes to the company. On a positive note, we have implemented a new Paid Parental Leave program. We recognize how important the time with a new child is and want employees to have bonding time with the precious additions to their families. We’re also focused on continuous feedback in 2020 and are inviting feedback from across all levels of the organization. It might take a shift in sharing feedback to realize the level of honesty we’d like, but we’re committed to this as a goal. The care you took to provide your thoughts and experiences is a testament to your appreciation for where we do a good job, and your feedback allows us to continue to evaluate how we can enhance a healthy work environment for everyone.

  10. "Great place to work but some cons"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SAGE Publishing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great Benefits! Nice people! Free food every Friday. Lenient on working from home and taking time off

    Cons

    Not the best company to work for if you are between the ages of 22-27. Everyone is in cubicles and doesn’t talk to each other though-out the day. If you want an exciting and active culture then do not work here.

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