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This article reports how ‘important others’ and position in the organizational hierarchy relate to employee innovation behaviour. Empowerment of healthcare workers to engage in innovation behaviour is desired by management in Norwegian municipalities as it is regarded as a way of getting more health care for less money. Innovation behaviour is also desired by nurses' and other healthcare workers' professional organizations of as it is regarded as a way of improving the working conditions of the healthcare worker.The theoretical discussion in this paper includes corporate entrepreneurship, ‘important others’ and employee innovation behaviour.This article reports on a study concerning empowerment of nurses and other healthcare workers (n = 555) in Norwegian municipalities. The statistical methods used include multiple regressions.The study reveals that there were differences between the nurse (registered nurses), auxiliary nurses (nurse aides) and unskilled healthcare workers concerning how they perceived the opinion of the management and the opinion of the colleagues about how suitable it was to present innovation behaviour at the workplace. Moreover, the different groups of healthcare workers assign different levels of importance to this influence.It is suggested that the findings put forward in this article may lead to an improved understanding of the dynamics behind employee innovation behaviour, and that such knowledge could improve the care provided to the patients, the cost of the care and the working conditions of nurses and other healthcare workers.