On Monday 20th April 2020 Prof. Seev Hirsch passed away. Seev was an Emeritus Professor at the Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University (where he also served as the second dean) and one of the four founding fellows of EIBA. 


Over the last 50 years, Seev has contributed greatly to the International Business community. When working on his PhD at Harvard in the early 1960s, under the supervision of Ray Vernon, Seev was pivotal in enhancing the development of the international product life cycle model, predicting how the location of production of new innovative products changes over time from innovating developed countries to imitating developed countries and finally to imitating developing countries. This theory has been, for many years, one of the leading theories explaining FDI patterns around the world.


In the mid- 1970s Seev visited the University of Reading, in a period which was critical to the theoretical underpinnings of our field, including the development of the eclectic paradigm and internalization theory. Seev's 1976 Oxford Economics Papers article "An International Trade and Investment Theory of the Firm" became a seminal paper in the development of international business theory, emphasizing the role of innovation by the multinational firm. A further key contribution of Seev was the distinction he made between "universal" and "firm specific" services. His works articulated why high technology firms whose products typically encompass extensive firm specific services in the pre-sale, sale and post-sale stages face significant challenges in their internationalization.

In the early 1980s and later in 1990s, following the peace agreements between Israel and Egypt (and later Jordan), Seev became deeply interested in the "Economics of Peacemaking". His works demonstrated the unorthodox view that Israel does have significant potential for economic cooperation with its Arab neighbors. Seev's main argument was that, being an economic island, Israel can develop strong relationship with its Arab neighbors due to the vast possibilities of trading and producing products that are "sensitive to distance" (e.g. fresh or bulky products). He was a firm believer in the potential of such collaboration right up to his last day.

In addition to being a sharp thinker, Seev will always be remembered for being a sincere person with a kind personality and a true gentleman.

Seev will be greatly missed by his wife Shirley, who supported him throughout his career, his two children and six grandchildren.

He will be also greatly missed by the whole international business community, and beyond.

Peter Buckley and Niron Hashai



Niron Hashai

Head of MBA Programs

Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business

Mobile: +972 52 3550067

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