The Four-Way Test
One of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world is the Rotary “4-Way Test.” It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of a company facing bankruptcy. He looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-casued financial difficulties. He drew up a 24 word code of ethics for all employees to follow in the business and personal lives. The 4 Way Test became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company was credited to this simple philosophy:
“Of all the things we think, say, or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?