There’s no denying the power that company culture can have on performance and innovation, not to mention employee morale and a company’s overall valuation. However, up until now there was little data to back up the claims beyond anecdotes and simplistic assessments. But, that’s about to change.

Researchers at MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and job recruiting site Glassdoor recently set out to uncover deeper links between good culture and good business. For us data lovers here at the APEX of Innovation, we’re happy to report that the survey size for this research and its findings come from 1.2 million people from 500 leading companies around the world. 

By looking at both numeric rankings on areas like culture and values, as well as “free text” responses in Glassdoor company reviews, the researchers were able to look more closely at critical areas like diversity, collaboration, and integrity and how they are perceived “in the eyes of employees.” 

The MIT SMR Glassdoor study stressed the importance of values and the role they play in driving a company’s culture. Values are typically described by terms like honesty, integrity, respect, and customer-focused. But, for many companies, they can often be just words on paper instead of guiding principles that drive employee’s actions.

While the survey revealed more than 60 different corporate values (most gathered from company mission statements), the researchers called out the ones that they saw most frequently, referring to them as the “Big Nine” cultural values. See the values below with their meanings:


Employees have the mindset and the tools to respond and adapt quickly to market changes and new opportunities.


Employees are empowered to work across teams and across the organization with a focus on openness and efficiency.


The company places a relentless focus on the customer experience and overall customer satisfaction with all employees focused on this goal.


The company promotes an open, inclusive working environment that does not discriminate or limit opportunities due to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality.


Employees are empowered to take action to achieve operational excellence and are held accountable for results.


The company strives for new ways of doing business, including developing new products, entering new markets, and improving internal processes.


Honesty and ethical behavior guides all company decisions.


Results are a key corporate objective where employees are rewarded for meeting goals and outstanding performance through compensation, recognition, and promotions.


Consideration and courtesy for others are key factors that underscore this value, which aims to ensure all employees are treated with dignity.

How do these values map with your company today or where you want to go in the future? To learn more, check out the complete MIT Sloan Management Review article.