This article examines the long-term strategic adaptation activities top service firms use to respond to economic crisis. Based on a longitudinal dataset of 97 leading European service firms, it empirically conceptualizes three clusters or strategic types of organizational response to overcome long-term financial strain experienced during 2008–2011, it tests the survivability of their strategic orientation and it assesses their relationship with organiza-tional performance during the crisis (2008–2011) and in the post-crisis period (2014– 2016). Leading E.U. service firms that attempt to maximize adaptation by ‘Commitment-to-expansion’ (i.e., increase in R&D investment, strategic M&A and recruitment) ensure the long-term survivability of their strategic orientation and generate growth in their operating profits, sales and market capitalization in contrast to service firms that imple-ment cost-oriented actions (layoffs and cutting back on R&D investment). These results extend the limited knowledge available on strategic adaptation in top E.U. service firms and provide insight into the role that different responses play in fostering recovery from ongoing economic and financial crisis, which have thus far remained empirically under-researched.