When I grew up in the 1970s, the idea of the "corporate ladder" was still very much alive. The standard plan was to try to get into a good college, from which one would be drafted into some organization and then rise to positions of gradually increasing responsibility. The more ambitious merely hoped to climb the same ladder faster. 
But in the late twentieth century something changed. It turned out that economies of scale were not the only force at work. Particularly in technology, the increase in speed one could get from smaller groups started to trump the advantages of size.