Elena Obukhova
Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship
Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management
MIT Sloan School of Management
I am an Assistant Professor in the Global Economics and Management group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where I study when and how social networks benefit individuals and organizations, with particular attention to China. Prior to joining MIT, I completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago. At Sloan, I teach MBA and Ph.D. course in international management. A native of Russia, I am also professionally fluent in Mandarin and have been intensively conducting research in China since 1995.

My first stream of research investigates the role of social networks in labor markets. In a series of papers, I reveal the benefits job seekers receive from using social connections in their job search. In my second stream of research, I use social networks as a theoretical lens to focus on Chinese returnee-entrepreneurs, or Chinese nationals who start new ventures in China after studying or working in developed economies. In particular, my research seeks to unveil the conditions under which the networks these entrepreneurs have in China and abroad affect firm performance. Because existing data cannot answer many of these questions, my studies typically involve design of new survey modules, face-to-face interviews, hand-coding of existing data, and/or acquiring previously unavailable datasets.