Weber is usually described as having believed that bureaucracy is the most efficient form of organization. In fact, Weber believed bureaucracy to be the most formally rational form of organization. As such, Weber conceived of bureaucracy as being more effective than alternative forms. In his day administration was based on written documents. This tended to make the office (bureau) the focus of organization. He did not share the modern conception of a bureaucratic organization as being slow, rigid and inefficient. His primary concern was to establish ways of behaving which avoided the corruption, unfairness and nepotism characterizing most 19th century organizations. Based on his ideas concerning the legitimacy of power, Weber outlined the characteristics of bureaucracy in its purest form. Such an organization is characterised by:


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