Systems require subsystems for the build-up of inner complexity (in order to cope with the outer one). But they do not ‘consist’ of ‘parts’, which add up to a ‘whole’. This is because subsystems, in turn, follow their own distinctions, otherwise they would not be systems; they have their own logic and their own time. So this creates specific important concerns, priorities, evaluations, preferences and aversions. Inevitably, this increases the need for synchronisation and coordination, and it expects the ‘whole system’ to cope with significant insecurity. Therefore, though, the whole system must necessarily severely restrict and select these integrative activities, so that it is not overloaded. Because of this, the integration can only occur selectively. A complete integration is not possible. Particularly for organisations, this is of high relevance, because it withdraws the basis for an approach which rests upon an entire, rationalised control of subsystems by a (hierarchical) centre.
Subsystems are coupled with each other by means of mutually providing each other with specific services. This happens. Thus, it is a process in time! While the subsystem works on something, another is already waiting or must cope with the fact that it is hanging in suspension. It has no immediate influence, itself, about the delivery of that, on which it must depend. For the unity of the whole system to be maintained, the temporal and factual differences must also be limited. This, however, can only happen if the subsystems are motivated, when exercising their self-direction, to keep an eye on limiting the requirements which emerge from the unity of the whole system.