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Elena Obukhova

Elena Obukhova
Assistant Professor, Strategy and Organization

PhD, Sociology, University of Chicago, USA
MSc, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Northwestern University, USA
BA, Anthropology, University of Florida, USA

Strategy and Organization
Email Address: 
elena [dot] obukhova [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Bronfman Building, [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


Elena Obukhova is an Assistant Professor in Strategy and Organization at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University. She teaches the core International Business course in the BCom program. Professor Obukhova’ research investigates when and how social networks benefit individuals and organizations, with a particular focus on China. A native of Russia, Professor Obukhova is professionally fluent in Mandarin and has been intensively conducting research in China since 1995. Prior to joining Desautels, Professor Obukhova has been a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management.


MGCR 382 International Business 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Areas: 
Labour Market
Organizational Theory
Social Networks
Selected Publications : 

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.

* student co-authors 

Obukhova, E. and L. Zhang*.  Do Chinese Job-Seekers Benefit from Strong Ties? Revisiting the Strength-of-Weak-Ties Hypothesis in China.  Under review.

Obukhova, E.  Building Connections to Find A Job: The Value Of Networking Ties In Job Search.  Under review.

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.  Under review.

Obukhova E., Y. Wang and J. Li.  The Value of the Alma Mater’s Location: Returnee Entrepreneurs, Local Embeddedness, and Firm Performance.  

* student co-authors

Awards, Honours, and Fellowships: 

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  

Current Research: 

Obukhova, E. and B. Rubineau.  Democratizing Referrals: Marketization and Social Networks in Chinese Labor Markets

Obukhova, E. and O. Sharone, O.  What Makes Networking Successful? The Case of Alumni Networks in MBA Job Search. 

Yang, X., E. Obukhova, and Li, J.  The Effect of Entrepreneur’s Experiences Abroad on Firm’s Innovative Behavior.  

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