Using the strategic orientation concept of Miles and Snow, the present study aims to test if differences in levels of new service development (NSD) competence exist between prospectors, analyzers, defenders, and reactors. Results from 192 Chinese knowledge intensive business service firms indicate that NSD competence varies in the relation to the firm's strategic orientation. Prospectors and defenders have higher NSD competence than analyzers. Reactors have lower new service development competence than prospectors, defenders, and analyzers. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.