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Fortune’s Best 100 Companies to Work for in America: Do They Work for Shareholders?


  • Greg Filbeck,

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  • Dianna Preece

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      The first author is Senior Vice-President of the Schweser Study Program, La Crosse, WI and Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The second author is from the College of Business and Public Administration, Louisville, KY. (Paper received June 2001, revised and accepted May 2002)

Greg Filbeck, CFA, Senior Vice-President, Schweser Study Program, La Crosse, WI, 54603, USA.


In this paper we examine the market reaction to the announcement by Fortune of the ‘Best 100 Companies to Work for in America.’ Employees rate firms based on several criteria including trust in management, pride in work/company and camaraderie. To examine long-term performance, we calculate raw and risk-adjusted returns and then compare them to the returns of a matched sample of firms. In addition, we calculate the return on a buy and hold investment in the sample firm less the return on a buy-and-hold investment in a matched sample firm (BHARs). We find a statistically significant positive response to the announcement of the ‘100 best companies to work for’ by Fortune. Also, based on all measures of risk-adjusted return, we find these firms generally outperform the matched sample of companies. The BHAR results, although not exhibiting the level of statistical significance, are consistent with the raw and risk-adjusted return results.