Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

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 Jay Taylor, who later served as RI President, when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24 word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales promotion, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers.

And the survival of the company is credited to the simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, the Four Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways and Rotarians recite it at club meetings.

It asks the following questions of the things we think, say, or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

These principles have been developed over the years to provide Rotarians with a strong, common purpose and direction. They serve as a foundation for our relationships with each other and the action we take in the world.