Conducting oneself, and going about one's business or profession in an ethical manner, has been a cornerstone of expected Rotary membership and behaviour almost from when Rotary began. We have the Declaration for Rotarians in Business and Professions and one of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is Rotary's Four-Way Test. This was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J Taylor (who later served as R I President) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.
As individuals and as Rotarians we are daily faced with challenging decisions which have an ethical foundation, for example:
(1) You could
make a sale, but you know it most probably will not be to the buyer's advantage;
(2) Or simply, a sales assistant incorrectly gives you more change than she shouldÂ do you give back the extra?
(3) Or more deeply, is it right to be dishonest for a good cause?
(4) Or, can we justify living in opulence while elsewhere in the world people are starving?
Ethics deals with such questions at all levels. Underlying each situation is the fundamental issue of practical decision making, and its major concerns include the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or wrong. For Rotary, The Four-Way Test is a good benchmark or guide in our ethical decision making, and we should have The Four-Way Test in mind in every decision we make.
Of the things we think, say or do
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?
Our District has an Ethics and Conflict Management Committee to advise the District Governor and Rotarians on appropriate ethical matters. The Committee has also prepared a number of Ethics related resources and practical club programs involving ethical issues which can easily be used by any clubs.
Click on the headings below to access these resources.