This paper considers how issue sellers advance new issues within an organization over time, and how they gain competence at doing so. Using ethnographic, archival, and interview data spanning a six-year period, it describes the moves made by members of a high-tech manufacturer to introduce environmental considerations into the design of new manufacturing processes. A significant shift occurred in the pattern of moves used over time, and explanations for the shift are found in two accompanying dynamics: The gradual accumulation of assets by the group advancing the issues and their adjustment of moves used based on earlier experiences. The findings are used to develop a model of issue selling as resourcing; that is, a practical accomplishment through which issue sellers’ moves enact key schemas held by issue recipients, triggering their attention and action on the issue. Issue selling as resourcing builds on recent work on resources and organizational boundaries to address how organizational contexts shape opportunities for and barriers to issue selling, and to identify how issue sellers learn to operate effectively within them.
Howard-Grenville, J. A. (2007). Developing issue-selling effectiveness over time: Issue selling as resourcing. Organization Science, 18(4), 560-577.