In addition to the question what, when, and how, which companiesinternationalise, the question remains remarkably open why companies startinternationalising at all. This research programme suggests that the answer tothis question lies as much in the regulatory environment (competitive space) asin the individual characteristics of companies (and their managers). Many ofthe answers given in previous research are still parsimonious - based on alimited number of variables. This research programme is problem-driven andmanagerial. Departing from the management problems that business managers aswell as policy makers at regulating authorities (such as ministeries, centralbanks) face, the programme should first provide insight into the multi-facetednature of internationalisation and competitive space. This is the descriptivegoal of the research project. Secondly, the ultimate goal is on the basis ofsolid diagnosis to come up with relevant management models and advice on thebest strategies to adopt under particular circumstances. This is theprescriptive goal of the research programme.Research questions to beaddressed include:*Are there national differences in strategy and managementstyle? How international are international firms? Why do firmsinternationalise?*Under which circumstances (when and where) is what kind ofinternationalisation strategy effective/optimal? Which management systems andtools can help improve the internal operation of companies across differentinternational locations?*Are there national differences in strategy andmanagement style of networks? Do different networks of firms internationalisedifferently and why?*When and how can international networks best be created,and how should they be managed?*How do different nationalgovernments/regulatory authorities reduce uncertainty for firms and what is theeffect on the firms' international competitiveness and internationalisationstrategy?*How can a competitive space be created and/or managed undercircumstances of growing internationalisation and policy competition?