Date Created: 12/06/2017
Last Updated: 12/12/2017

Reijo Luostarinen
12/26/1939 - 11/24/2017

Location: HELSINKI, FINLAND, International

Visits: 9,353

Dear EIBA colleagues & friends,

It is with deep sadness I inform you that Reijo Luostarinen, long-time EIBA Fellow and Professor Emeritus of International Business at the Aalto University School of Business in Finland, passed away suddenly on Friday evening, November 24, 2017. He leaves behind his wife Kirsti and their two sons, Jukka-Pekka and Antti Aleksi.

Here below is some practical information provided by the family to pay our respects to Reijo.

Please use this public memorial website (for which you must create a 'member' login as proof of identity) to express your condolences to the family, record your memories & tributes, as well as upload photos or videos you wish to share. Reijo will be sorely missed but never forgotten!

– Philippe Gugler, EIBA Chairman

CONTACT address for Reijo's family:
Mrs. Kirsti Luostarinen, Orapihlajakuja 8 as 2, 00320 Helsinki, Finland

FUNERAL date & location:
December 21, 2017 (Thursday), 2:30 p.m. (14:30)
Hietaniemi Crematorium, Big Chapel, Helsinki, Finland

CONTRIBUTIONS to honour Reijo's memory:
"Kirsti and Reijo Luostarinen Internationalization Fund"
This fund (founded in 1999 at the Foundation for Economic Education) is for supporting needy students by enabling them to continue their studies in International Business (the field that Reijo so deeply loved).

To: Kirsti and Reijo Luostarinen Internationalization Fund
IBAN: FI34 1572 3000 0330 43
Message: In memory of Reijo Luostarinen
Bank: Nordea


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Current Memories

From: Eero Vaara Sunday, December 17, 2017
Reijo Luostarinen will be deeply missed by his close ones but also by the international scholarly community. To most of us, he is a pioneer in international business research, and his work theoretical and empirical work on internationalization has paved the way for what IB research is today - and inspired many of us. He was also an institutional entrepreneur who got so many things going in Finland and abroad, including EIBA. I am personally very grateful for his support in the early stages of my academic career when I got to work at the Department of International Business Helsinki School of Economics (now Aalto School of Business). I hadn't seen Reijo for years, but was so glad to have a long chat with him only a couple of days before he passed away. He was in very good spirits, and we talked about Sysmä and his research on history. Unfortunately, he was taken away far too early.

From: rebecca piekkari Friday, December 15, 2017
Internationalization of Finnish firms as a mission in life

Professor Emeritus Reijo Luostarinen, a pioneer of the internationalization of Finnish firms passed away unexpectedly on November 24th, 2017. Reijo was born under very modest circumstances in Kajaani, Finland on December 26th, 1939. He lost his father in the war at the age of two. He graduated from Kajaanin Lyseo high school in 1959, and earned his Master’s degree from the Helsinki School of Economics in 1964. His desire to learn new things took him to the University of Michigan in the USA as an ASLA-Fullbright Scholar. Reijo earned his Licentiate’s degree in 1971, and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1979. His dissertation titled Internationalization of the Firm won the international (INSEAD) award for best doctoral dissertation in the field of international business in 1978-82.

Reijo had a strong drive and an intellectually curious mind to develop expertise in the field of international business and internationalization of firms because he believed they were essential for Finland. Reijo established international business as a distinct area of research and education in Finland. In 1974, he founded Finland’s International Business Operations (FIBO) – a research program. FIBO produced extensive empirical data, practical cases and theoretical frames on internationalization of Finnish firms. In addition to Reijo’s own doctoral dissertation, the program produced almost 200 theses. Furthermore, the International Business discipline, which Reijo founded, produced more than 50 PhDs. As a supervisor, Reijo challenged us to think boldly in order to seek new avenues and alternative explanations. He created an atmosphere of equality, openness, trust, and was never prepared to compromise intellectual honesty or the joy of working together.

Reijo introduced interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurial courage, business orientation, and practical knowledge to education and research of the School. In addition to his work as an educator and researcher, Reijo acted as a consultant and was a board member of several companies. Since retiring from academia in 2003, he continued to work as an entrepreneur and consultant.
One of Reijo’s strength was international networking. He was e.g. a founding member of the European International Business Association (EIBA), and a regular visitor and speaker at foreign universities. Reijo’s expertise in internationalization was also used by ministries and the United Nations.

A place that Reijo held most dear was the family farm in Sysmä, Finland, where he enjoyed gardening and golf. The development of the local community was also close to his heart. He was writing the history of crofters in Sysmä when he passed away.
Due to the difficult beginning of his life, Reijo was deeply grateful for the opportunities to study and succeed that his home country provided him with and wanted to give back to Finland in many ways.

Until the very end Reijo was actively engaged on many fronts and, as was characteristic to him, his mind was filled with plans for the future. Seizure struck him in the presence of the loved ones.
Reijo is dearly missed, and remembered with gratitude by colleagues and friends around the world, and especially by his wife Kirsti and two sons Jukka-Pekka and Antti Aleksi.

The authors are former researchers of the FIBO program.
Pekka Ala-Pietilä
Sari Baldauf
Mikko Kosonen (PhD)
Seija Kulkki (PhD)

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear EIBA Fellows, The past week has been a very sad period of mourning for the IB group at Aalto University, School of Business. Reijo was such an important figure for us and we can concretely feel his immense loss in Finland. As it happens, on November 22nd we organized an event around the legacy of Nokia at the School in which Reijo participated. I feel so fortunate that several of us had a chance to see him and talk to him only two days before he passed away. He was ‘the old good Reijo’ – full of energy, life, humour and plans for the future! He had just spent three wonderful weeks with his bellowed wife, Kirsti, under the Spanish sun. Having recently seen him in such good spirits it still feels very difficult to believe that he will not join us in Milan. I have been reading your messages full of emotions and beautiful memories and passed them on to Reijo’s family who has very much appreciated them. All the very best, Rebecca

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear Friends, We all have to go one day. It is however, particularly sad to have to say Goodbye to Reijo, a true friend, whose name immediately brings to mind EIBA and what it meant to him. – Seev

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear all, Really very sad news. We lost a very, very dear friend and committed EIBA fellow. I had the privilege to work with him on some projects and it was not only a very productive but also a pleasant cooperation. He was not only an excellent scholar but also brought real business experiences to our profession which is not so common any more. Best regards, Marjan

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear all, what a shocking message. Let me share our deeply felt sadness about the untimely loss of a great inspirator in the field of IB, a wonderful colleague and dear friend. Reijo will always be remembered for bis academic excellence and warm giving personal kindness. We will miss him a lot. – Klaus

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear all, Very sad to hear about Reijo. He was really a warm EIBA friend and one of the founders of the "Scandinavian" way of looking at firms' internationalization. All the best, Mats

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear all, It is a very bad news, that brings sadness and thoughts. Reijo was an excellent EIBA President and a very good fellow. As a colleague and overall as a friend he will be missed. All the best, Juan

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
I never had a chance to work with Reijo, but I will remember the warm way he welcomed me to the Fellows, and of course the chocolates from Santa. Reijo was the same age as my Dad, another avid choir singer, maybe that is why I always liked him. – Sarianna

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear all, Such sad news. I will miss the great scholar and the dear friend. Always forward-looking and full of enthusiasm. A great human touch. Warm wishes, Francesca

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear All, For sure, Reijo will have a very important place in EIBA History. I'm so sad. I still remember how active he was last year in Vienna when he participated (wonderful presentation) in the EIBA History Panel. Then, we travelled together to Lisboa (he was en route to Madeira), and Reijo was as forward-looking as usual, telling me about his future plans and about how he enjoyed playing golf in Madeira. I will never forget the outstanding EIBA 1989 that he organised. Then I learnt how important a is choir in the social part of a Conference. But the key moment happened in front of the Sibelius monument, it was snowing, and we were, led by Reijo, singing Finlandia. Warmest regards to everybody. Looking forward to seeing you in Milano, Vítor

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
We will all miss him. He was great researcher but also EIBA Santa Claus, with his chocolates distributed to fellows and others. He will remain part of the history of our academy. – Krzysztof

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear EIBA Fellows, I am approaching you with a very sad news, the unexpected death of Reijo Luostarinen. Rejio was an active contributor within EIBA, and we will be missing him a lot. See you in Milan soon. Best regards, Lucia

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
This is terrible news, it makes me very sad too. He was such a nice man. Of course, we should inform the Fellows, and perhaps try and find some way of acknowledging Reijo's contribution to EIBA during the Milan conference, even though it is now too late to arrange a session in his honour. – Best regards, John

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
This is very sad. He was a splendid fellow and a great supporter of IB and EIBA in particular. Reijo will be much missed. – Best wishes, Peter

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Really sad news to start the week. Rebecca apparently has the most intensive cooperation with Reijo. Reijo was a very important person for the development of IB research and teaching especially here in Finland. Therefore in addition to several other Fellows also I have cooperated a lot with Reijo related to the FIGSIB issues and other issues – and he was in my licentiate and dissertation thesis committees. Thus, really sad news. Apparently there could be something related to Reijo on behalf of the EIBA Fellows at the EIBA Meeting in Milan. – With best regards, Jorma

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
Very sad to hear - remember when Gunnar (deceased 1996) and I were teaching with him in Helsinki in the mid 1980s. – Regards from Örjan

From: Ene Kannel Thursday, December 7, 2017
I am really sad. Reijo and I were friends for almost 30 years. I will never foreget how Reijo supported me to attend EIBA Helsinki in 1989. It was really a turnaround in EIBA history. After a few troubled years, Danny, Hans-Gunther and Reijo organised three Conferences that have been essential to revive EIBA and to make a turnaround. I still remeber all of us singing Finlandia on the snow in front of Sibellius' monument. I am missing him so much! – Vítor

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