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The Age of Outrage

Crisis Communication Leadership

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Karthik Ramanna

Professor, University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government

How to Lead in a Polarized World

Almost every leader in every sector is now dealing with angry stakeholders. Even a revered company like Apple can find itself suddenly managing outrage flashpoints, both with employees and with external groups.

Such encounters are nothing new; what sets this time apart is a perfect storm of three forces: (1) Many people feel unhopeful about the future. (2) Many feel, rightly or wrongly, that the game has been rigged against them. (3) Many are being drawn toward ideologies that legitimize an us-versus-them approach.

Karthik Ramanna offers a five-step framework for dealing with outrage that draws on analytical insights from disciplines as wide-ranging as the science of aggression, managerial economics, organizational behavior, and political philosophy.

Karthik Ramanna is a professor of business and public policy at University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.

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March 11, 2025
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