This article presents an alternative empirical test of the relationship between strategy content and service provider performance. Strategy content, conceptualized as comprising strategic stance and strategic action, has been shown to be a means to improve public service performance. We contribute to this growing body of research by deriving an alternative typology of strategy to better reflect competitive conditions in the public sector, which existing strategy typologies cannot fully explain. By assuming that public service providers must follow strategies best suited to their internal and external conditions for improved performance, we evaluate the significance of 'fit' between alternative strategic stances and organizational characteristics. Compromising the delivery of a strategy invariably leads to a misfit between strategy and what the service provider is actually doing. We highlight how to optimize strategic fit, to maximize service provider performance. Conclusions are drawn for public management theory and practice.