MIT Sloan Management Review Announces in One of the Largest Ever Studies of Corporate Culture the 2020 Culture Champions

Eufemia Didonato

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and MILL VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, MIT Sloan Management Review announced the 2020 Culture Champions, as determined by the Culture 500, a groundbreaking study that scientifically compares the corporate cultures of more than 500 of the largest companies driving the U.S. economy. The Culture […]

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and MILL VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, MIT Sloan Management Review announced the 2020 Culture Champions, as determined by the Culture 500, a groundbreaking study that scientifically compares the corporate cultures of more than 500 of the largest companies driving the U.S. economy.

The Culture Champions list comes out of the Culture 500, a large-scale, interactive research study conducted by researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Studying over 1.4 million Glassdoor reviews from more than 500 of the largest employers in the United States, the Culture 500 is notable for its large scale — it is one of the largest studies of corporate culture ever conducted — and use of groundbreaking AI technology developed at MIT to make sense of over a million employee reviews.

The standout organizations in the study, the 21 Culture Champions were recognized because their employees speak significantly more positively about a range of important cultural issues — including collaboration, integrity, and innovation — than their industry peers. They also exceed thresholds for diversity, integrity, and respect.

“In this year’s Culture 500, we reveal the 21 standout companies that jump off the page from our years of research at MIT,” said author and lead researcher Donald Sull. “When it comes to corporate culture, these Culture Champions walk the talk, unlike most companies we have studied, including some of the biggest household name companies.”

The 2020 Culture Champions Are:


HP Inc.

Bain & Company




Boston Scientific


Bristol Myers Squibb





St. Jude Children’s Hospital

The Clorox Company

Toyota Motor North America


Trader Joe’s

Discount Tire

Ultimate Software


“A culture of shared success is critical for who we want to be and what we want to do as a company,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture, one of the companies named as a champion. “By embracing inclusion, diversity, and equality, we can attract the very best talent, unlock greater collaboration and innovation, and create value that benefits all of our stakeholders. We are honored to be recognized by the Culture 500 for our commitment.”

As well as excelling culturally, the Culture Champions tend to outperform their industry peers financially, are more than twice as likely to be led by a woman than a typical Fortune 500 company, and cultivate remarkably psychologically safe environments for their employees.

“Culture Champions are the unicorns of today’s business world,” says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist, Glassdoor, “Of the hundreds of companies we studied, only the most remarkable 3.5% were selected — an elite group of employers who have cultivated a rich, multidimensional culture that delivers both on employee satisfaction and business results.”

Over 500 Household Name Companies Ranked Across Diversity, Innovation, and More

In addition to naming the 21 Culture Champions, who excel culturally across multiple dimensions, the Culture 500 also recognizes excellence across nine specific cultural categories.

The Culture 500 measures how favorably employees speak about specific values on Glassdoor. The 2020 rankings include diversity and inclusion (Cummins ranks first – their employees spoke most favorably about diversity on Glassdoor), innovation (Nvidia), collaboration (Bain & Company), customer orientation (Bristol Myers Squibb), execution (HubSpot), integrity (Rockwell Automation), Performance (Paycom), agility (Nvidia), and respect (Ultimate Software).

For each of these values, the complete rankings of all the companies in the sample can be found on the Culture 500 site hosted on MIT Sloan Management Review. The Culture 500 study also allows users to compare cultures and see what values employees of a company talk about the most and least favorably.

The Culture 500 study is made possible through a partnership between two of the world’s leading organizations on corporate data, technology, and management strategy. Glassdoor is one of the world’s largest job and recruiting platforms with more than 49 million employee reviews and insights covering more than 900,000 employers. MIT Sloan Management Review is the premier publication on leading in a complex, technology-fueled era.

“We were very surprised by what we found out about cultural excellence and, in particular, diversity and inclusion from this year’s Culture 500,” said Charlie Sull, a lead researcher of the Culture 500 and cofounder of CultureX, “Not all companies walk the talk like they say they do on their websites — in fact most do not. It is very interesting to see their actual performance, what their employees say is actually going on. I’d invite everyone to explore what we found out.”

About MIT Sloan Management Review:
At MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR), we share with our readers an excitement and curiosity about how the practice of management is transforming in the digital age. Our expert contributors help leaders explore the trends that are shaping how organizations operate, compete, and create value in a technology-fueled world. We deliver the kind of evidence-based analysis and practical insight that will inspire leaders to do great work.

About Glassdoor:
Glassdoor combines all the latest jobs with millions of reviews and insights to make it easy for people to find a job that is uniquely right for them. The company is on a mission to help people everywhere find a job and company they love. In pursuit of the mission, Glassdoor helps employers hire truly informed candidates at scale through effective recruiting solutions like job advertising and employer branding products. Launched in 2008, Glassdoor now has reviews and insights for approximately 900,000 companies located in more than 190 countries. For more information, visit

About the Researchers:
Donald Sull is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and cofounder of CultureX. Charles Sull is a cofounder of CultureX. Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D., is chief economist at Glassdoor.

About the Culture 500 Methodology:
To develop the Culture 500 tool, Donald Sull and his team analyzed the free text responses from over 1.4 million Glassdoor reviews from current and former employees using a natural language processing methodology that classifies free text responses into more than 200 culture-related topics, of which nine values were chosen for inclusion in the Culture 500. The process combined insights from subject area experts with machine learning tools to build a dictionary of more than 20,000 highly accurate terms that indicated which aspect of culture an employee was discussing. Each company is assessed in terms of the percentage of employees who discuss one of the Big 9 values (incidence) and how favorably they assess it (sentiment).

Emily Lavelle
Emily Lavelle Communications
212-390-1328 | [email protected]

Amelia Green-Vamos
312-505-9741 | [email protected]

Charlie Sull
617-669-0316 | [email protected]

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