The cultural attributes of the enterprise in which you invest are among the most difficult characteristics to define in a corporation. Not only is the concept of a good culture inherently amorphous and subjective to different interpretations as to what constitutes a good culture, but it is also subject to the biases of “pop culture” and “winning”.
By pop culture, I mean that companies that offer unique and fluffy fringe benefits often receive favorable press coverage that is supposed to convince that the company is on the right track. Two years ago, a company was praised lavishly for letting employees pet puppies at work. Well, that doesn’t tell you thing about product development or even caliber of employee attracted (i.e. people who need to pet a puppy to get through the workday may be more emotionally fragile than the typical U.S. worker writ large).