The Scanlon principles of Equity, Participation, Identity, and Competence (EPIC) form the foundation for the Scanlon three-step process.


Have you ever wondered how different your organization would be if everyone of its members shared your passion for its success? What if every employee took genuine ownership of not only their specific tasks, but of the performance of the company as a whole? Can you imagine and industrial organization of over 500 people where every employee knows the cost of quality? Better yet, they also know the inventory turns, safety performance, turnover figures and earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation! Best of all, they know how these numbers are calculated and how they can impact them!!


There are such companies that are unique performers who recognize that the path to sustained excellence is through maximization of the human resource. These companies look on and treat every member of their constituency as contributors with great potential. They view them as valued members who are trading a significant portion of their life for the success of the organization. They believe that this “trade” is worth more than simply a paycheck and a benefit package.

“I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich… [But] we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.”

Abraham Lincoln


Employees of these companies are encouraged to grow both socially, functionally and professionally and in doing so they contribute exponentially greater to their communities as well as their companies. Management’s core belief is that no one knows more about the work than the worker.


In the 1930’s at the height of the depression, a steel worker’s union president named Joseph Scanlon came to the conclusion that the only way to save the company he worked for, Empire Sheet and Tin Plate, was to structure a system of management that would essentially encourage enterprise for every constituent. That is, to allow and indeed encourage the involvement of every worker in the running of the business.