This case, and the accompanying teaching note, is based on extensive interviews² in the early months of the year 2000 with many of the participants involved in Global 2000-an organization set up to preempt a possible global business meltdown as a result of the “Millenium Bug.”³ Global 2000 emerged between November 1997 and April 1998 as a coordinated project among managers at various international banks to monitor suspicious private and public organizations from around the world, engage national and multilateral regulators, and develop and implement a workable strategy to forestall the worst potential consequences of the Year 2000 (Y2K) bug. This project involved maintaining control over a rapidly expanding network, establishing readily implementable procedures, setting incentives for a diverse community of players, and agreeing on effective country assessment charts. If they succeeded, they ran the risk of being criticized for crying wolf; if they failed, the world financial system would be at stake. This article tells the story of Global 2000’s efforts to squash the Y2K bug and discusses the lessons of this story for our understanding of issues of collective action, network dynamics, and voluntary compliance.
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