This article proposes a simple framework for understanding an emergent diversity
of linkages between corporate governance (CG) and organizational architecture (OA).
It distinguishes discreet modes of their linkage by different combinatorial patterns
between three basic assets: managers human assets (MHA), workers human assets (WHA),
and non-human assets (NHA). Using the concept of essentiality of human assets proposed
by Hart (1995) and distinguished from that of complementarities, we first propose
a new characterization of four known modes of CG-OA linkage: three traditional (Anglo-American,
German, and Japanese) and one relatively new (Silicon Valley) models. Then we present
empirical evidences of emergent diversity of CG-OA linkages in Japan, which is somewhat
at odds with the old Japanese model. We interpret its emergent dominant mode as the
path-dependent evolution of a new pattern of essentiality between human assets, made
viable by lessening of institutional-complementarity-constraints, which surrounded
the traditional Japanese model. We argue that this new mode interpreted in terms
of essentiality may have broader applicability beyond Japanese context.