The very term bureaucracy now has somewhat pejorative overtones. It connotes a superfluity of overpaid officials and inept clerks beavering away anonymously and perhaps indifferently in flimsily partitioned offices. One modern authority defines it as 'a centrally directed, systematically organised and hierarchically structured staff devoted to the regular, routine and efficient carrying out of large-scale administrative tasks according to policies dictated by rulers or directors. This echoes the 'ideal-type' or model bureaucracy elaborated by Max Weber many years ago. Max Weber contended that bureaucracies welcome a poorly-informed Parliament. This could also apply to the ruler himself. The strife within the royal household did not improve as the Empire grew weaker. In the late twelfth century, the Emperor Andronicus, who had seized the throne by assassination, grew impatient with the influence of the Italians, and initiated a massacre of their merchants within the city.