Insider action research is viewed as a means and an end in the development of new organizational capabilities. Building on the literature that is based in the fields of business strategy, insider action research, learning mechanisms and organization development, we develop a model of new organizational capabilities development. Three longitudinal action research projects within AstraZeneca are described and examined using the model. Many of the challenges faced by the insider action researcher, such as linking IAR project to business strategy, pre-understanding, acting in a political landscape, managing multiple roles, designing and managing a variety of learning mechanisms, and the ongoing need to maintain balance between opposing forces are identified and discussed. Directions for future research and recommendations for insider action researchers are presented.