At the microeconomic level, several advantages can be cited (Fer guson and Gibb 1993):
• companies may become more competitive through cheaper sourcing or subcontracting across national boundaries;
• companies will be able to prepare for threats and take advantage of opportunities if they have an effective international environment scanning process;
• companies may be able to find overseas markets which offer higher profit margins;
• companies operating in niche markets may find servicing similar niches in other countries less of a risk than diversifying into addi tional niches in the home market;
• it may be possible to extend the product life cycle through overseas market development; and
• companies may be able to establish strategic alliances to maintain the critical mass required for research and development.