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Familiarity (Luhmann) is necessary for all system types. If tomorrow everything, absolutely everything, were different, no system could survive. It would no longer be possible to connect to its environment. That, which in the future is like the past, is familiar: tomorrow, too, the apple falls from top to bottom, the cars drive on the right, I can use money to purchase bread rolls, my wife looks at me lovingly and the weather is bad again on Saturday. Familiarity can as the examples demonstrate, be established differently: in the laws of nature, in law, in the function of the economic system, in love as passion and in habits.

In organisations, there is a plethora of familiarity, otherwise they cannot, as systems, construct any internal complexity. The effectiveness of organisations also depends upon what degree of familiarity they can make available to their members (to relieve their capacity to process). It is just as relevant, how much need for familiarity the members bring with them. The more they can utilise the difference between maintaining and learning, instead of familiarity, the better the organisation can cope, within their environment, during times of great change.