Input from members of the successor generation to the incumbent leader of the business is important tofamily firms that desire to grow into multi-generational entities. Although researchers have examined
upward influence behavior in general, there is a dearth of studies discussing this phenomenon as it
relates to family firms. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap by focusing on issue selling behavior—one of
the fundamental ways the successor generation pursues upward influence. Issue selling is defined as a
discretionary behavior used to direct top managers’ attention toward important issues. Specifically, by
integrating the extant issue selling literature with research on the impact of family structure on family
decision-making, we help explain the strength of successor generation members’ intentions to sell issues
and their choice of selling strategies.