I imagine that somewhere back in the early middle ages, there was a violent outbreak between a merchant and his labor over what he had committed to sell that was unreasonable. I wish that I could have been there to watch. My instincts tell me that it would have not have been any different that the clashes that I bear witness to today. This balance can most definitely drive the success or failure of a company today. The most successful company that I have ever worked for had a organizational parity between sales and operations with the two having equal footing at the executive level. This company rose from a small operation to a highly profitable 300+ million dollar operation. When I started, I was the 154th employee. When I left, we were over 2000. This company also spent a significant amount of money to bring the two sides of life together. An annual meeting was held every year for 2 days bringing sales and operations together. This was no small expense. This diligence paid off.
Conversely, a later company that I worked for had no parity in the organizational structure. The President had spent his life in sales and there was no visible effort to maintain a balance. The company continues today to project high revenue but continually struggles with profitability and long term growth (and I might add, employee turnover is unusually high).