If we were to trace the existence of the Big Chief organization through history, we would find it with the clan leader in the Paleolithic band , with the tribal chief in the Neolithic village, with the emperors and kings ruling classical cities, with the feudal lords in the European Middle Ages, with the traders and merchants during the rise of mercantilism, and with the factory owners and robber barons in the Industrial Revolution, right up to the entrepreneurs of start-up companies and small businesses today. The dominance of the Big Chief organization in business, however, ended around 1900, when the complexity of most businesses and the business environment rose to such a high level that more integrated managerial structures were required to support them.
The large corporations that gained monopoly power prior to this period were for the most part still managed by the men who founded them, hence were still controlled as a rank-based Big Chief organization with little or no significant integrated managerial structures. Vanderbilt, for instance, in his heyday personally oversaw the more than one hundred vessels in his fleet , controlled all his railroads, and, amid all his other business dealings, did his own bookkeeping. It is said that his own son hadn't a clue as to his father's management methods .
However, these corporations were beginning to grow larger than a single individual could manage. So, the maturing of the Second Industrial Revolution in the 1890s saw the rise of managerial capitalism with its class of professional managers and the hierarchical organization. It also witnessed the shift from the dominance of Big Chief organizations over business and a more oligarchic economy to where the dominant organization of the next one hundred years would be the hierarchical organization in a managerial capitalist economy.