From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is the Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. The test asks simply:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

For more on the history of the Four-Way Test, you can see this article from The Rotarian. You can also read an article by Herbert J. Taylor himself.