As a direct consequence of Confucianism, Chinese culture therefore places collective interests over individual interests. Their "socialistic philosophy teaches that the good of all is everyone's concern" (Ralston, Holt, and Terpstra, 1997, p.7). This is in contrast with the Western concept of individual achievement and self-worth. This collective orientation is also evident in the manner that Confucian ideals place emphasis on the importance of family, such that most Chinese businesses are also family businesses. This collective orientation, however, is rooted not on the basis of emotional attachment to a group, but rather on "the web of reciprocal or moral relations in which one finds oneself, [and] defines oneself", apart from which "one can have no real identity" (De Bary, 1991, p.3). Thus, for the Chinese, "the virtue of humanity is meaningless unless it is involved in actual human relationships" (Chan, 1963, p.104).
This focus on collective interests, bound by interpersonal relationships, is a crucial focal point businessmen must take into consideration for a successful business relationship with the Chinese. It implies that the collective group given emphasis is not exclusive, such that non-Chinese can penetrate it, provided that they build good interpersonal relationships, or 'guanxi'.