PhD, Sociology, University of Chicago, USA
MSc, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Northwestern University, USA
BA, Anthropology, University of Florida, USA
Elena Obukhova is an Assistant Professor in Strategy and Organization at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. Obukhova is an economic sociologist whose research focuses on how social processes shape market outcomes, with a particular focus on China. One stream of her research investigates how social relationships and networking influence career outcomes. A second stream examines how politics shapes preferences for conformity. She tackles these questions by developing unique datasets primarily though the use of survey methods.
Obukhova is a recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and two Fellowships from the Social Science Research Council. Formerly a student-editor at the American Journal of Sociology, she is currently serving on its editorial board. At McGill, she is a co-organizer of the Social Networks Working Group.
A native of Russia, Obukhova is professionally fluent in Mandarin and has been conducting research in China since 1995. She is passionate about teaching International Business and has taught courses in this field at BCom, MBA and PhD levels.
Prior to joining Desautels. Professor Obukhova had been a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
2017 Obukhova, E. and L. Zhang*. Social Capital and Job Search in Urban China: The Strength-of-Strong-Ties Hypothesis Revisited. Chinese Sociological Review.
2016 Zhang*, J., E. Zuckerman and E. Obukhova, A Lack of Security or of Cultural Capital? Acculturative Conservatism in the Naming Choices of Early 20th-Century U.S. Jews. Social Forces 94(4): 1509-1538.
2014 Obukhova, E., E. Zuckerman and J. Zhang*. When Politics Froze Fashion: The Effect of the Cultural Revolution on Naming in Beijing. American Journal of Sociology 120(2): 555-583.
2013 Obukhova, E. and G. Lan*. Do Job-Seekers Benefit from Contacts? A Direct Test with Contemporaneous Searches. Management Science 59(10): 2204-2216.
2012 Obukhova, E. Motivation vs. Relevance: Using Strong Ties to Find a Job in China. Social Science Research 41(3): 470-480.
* co-author is a student at the begining of the project
2011 Culture and Economics: On Values, Economics and International Business, by Eelke De Jong. Routledge, 2009. Reviewed for Administrative Science Quarterly, 56(2): 310-311.
2006 The Making of the State Enterprise System in Modern China: The Dynamics of Institutional Change, by Morris L. Bian. Harvard University Press, 2005. Reviewed for American Journal of Sociology, 112 (2): 629–631.
2005 Obukhova, E. Redefining State Embeddedness for the Global Economy: The Rise of China’s Silicon Valley. Proceedings of 2005 Chinese Economists Society International Conference on Sustainable Economic Growth in China. Volume I-B, p. 3-8.
2004 Red Capitalists in China: The Party, Private Entrepreneurs, and Prospects for Political Change, by Bruce J. Dickson. Cambridge University Press, 2003. Reviewed for Economic Development and Cultural Change, 52 (4): 901-903.
2002 Obukhova, E. and J. Guyer. Transcending the Formal/Informal Distinction: Commercial Relations in Africa and Russia in the Post-1989 World. In Theory in Economic Anthropology, J. Ensminger, ed. Alta Mira Press: Walnut Creek, CA.
2002 Obukhova, E. Living and Trusting in the Economy of Debt: The Distribution of Newspapers and Magazines in Ibadan. In Money Struggles and City Life: Devaluation In Ibadan and Other Urban Centers in Southern Nigeria, 1986-96, J. Guyer, L. Denzer, and A. Agbaje, eds. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH.
2015: Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant, McGill University
2015: Honorable mention for Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article, Culture Section, American Sociological Association
2015: Finalist for Best Overall Paper Award of the Careers Division, Academy of Management
- Obukhova, E. and A. M. Kleinbaum. Scouting for Good Jobs: Gender and Contact Mobilization in the Search for Managerial Work.
- Obukhova, E. and B. Rubineau. Switching Sides: Market Development and Job-Referring in China.