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Posted: July 26th, 2023

Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Modern Competitive Environment: A Case Study of Netflix

Assessment Name

The purpose of this assessment is to assess your knowledge of the competitive advantage concept. You will be required to write an essay addressing the following questions:

To gain a competitive advantage a business must have a good strategy and a strategic process. Do you think organisations face challenges in trying to develop and implement a strategy in the modern competitive environment?

In answering these questions, connect your organisational examples to 3 theories below:

Industry/Organisational theory(Five forces)

Resource-Based View theory

Disruptive innovation
*The organisation given is Netflix. Analyse their strategy & the challenges they face(d) when developing &/or implementing their strategic process.

This question must be answered i n ssay format, with
an introduction, body, and conclusion. There is no requirement for a table of contents for the essay, but page numbers must be included.The text must be in 12-point font with double-line spacing.

*Subheadings suggested.

Examples are encouraged and should be used to
support your answers. A minimum of three (3)
academic references (not including textbook).

Use Harvard referencing

Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Modern Competitive Environment: A Case Study of Netflix


In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, the pursuit of a competitive advantage has become crucial for organizations striving to thrive and maintain market leadership. To achieve this edge, businesses must develop and implement effective strategies that align with their unique strengths and capabilities. In this essay, we will explore the challenges faced by organizations in developing and executing strategies in the modern competitive landscape. We will focus on Netflix, a prominent player in the streaming industry, and analyze their strategic approach and the obstacles they encountered during the process.

I. The Role of Strategy in Gaining Competitive Advantage

A. Industry/Organizational Theory (Five Forces)

The Five Forces model, introduced by Michael E. Porter, is a fundamental tool for analyzing competitive forces within an industry. It assesses five key factors that influence the competitive intensity and attractiveness of a market: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products or services, and rivalry among existing competitors.

For Netflix, the Five Forces analysis reveals a highly competitive environment. The threat of new entrants remains moderate, considering the significant capital investment required to establish a vast content library and sophisticated streaming infrastructure. However, the bargaining power of buyers is high due to the abundance of streaming options available. Additionally, the bargaining power of suppliers can present challenges for Netflix, particularly when securing rights to popular content. The threat of substitutes is also notable, as consumers have various alternatives to accessing entertainment content, such as traditional cable television or other streaming platforms. Lastly, the rivalry among existing competitors, including major players like Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, demands a robust and innovative strategy from Netflix to maintain its market position.

B. Resource-Based View Theory

The Resource-Based View (RBV) theory emphasizes the internal analysis of an organization’s unique resources and capabilities as the foundation for gaining a competitive advantage. These resources can include intellectual property, innovative technologies, brand reputation, and a skilled workforce.

Netflix’s success can be attributed to its strong emphasis on the RBV theory. Its vast collection of exclusive content, along with its highly personalized recommendation algorithms, creates a unique user experience that sets it apart from competitors. By focusing on building a deep content library and harnessing user data to personalize the viewing experience, Netflix has cultivated a sustainable competitive advantage.

II. The Disruptive Innovation Challenge

Disruptive innovation, a concept introduced by Clayton Christensen, refers to the process through which new technologies or business models disrupt existing markets and replace established products or services. While pursuing a disruptive innovation strategy can lead to significant competitive advantages, it also presents challenges for organizations.

Netflix faced the disruptive innovation challenge head-on with the shift from DVD rentals to digital streaming. Initially, the company’s primary revenue stream came from DVD rentals by mail, but it recognized the potential of digital streaming early on. This strategic shift required substantial investment in technology, licensing agreements, and content creation, while also necessitating changes to their operational and distribution processes.

III. Netflix’s Strategic Approach and Challenges

A. Strategy Implementation

Netflix’s strategy focused on leveraging technological advancements to create a seamless and personalized streaming experience. The company adopted a subscription-based model, allowing unlimited access to its content library for a fixed monthly fee. This strategic approach aimed at attracting and retaining a large customer base.

Challenges arose in the early stages of implementation. Convincing users to shift from DVD rentals to streaming posed a considerable hurdle. Furthermore, negotiating licensing agreements with content creators and studios was a complex task. As the streaming industry grew more competitive, securing exclusive rights to premium content became increasingly difficult and costly.

B. International Expansion

Netflix’s expansion into international markets was a critical aspect of its growth strategy. However, each region presented unique challenges, such as differing consumer preferences, cultural barriers, and regulatory complexities. The company had to adapt its content offerings and marketing strategies to cater to local audiences, which required extensive research and investments.


In conclusion, gaining a competitive advantage in the modern competitive environment demands a well-crafted strategy aligned with an organization’s resources and capabilities. Netflix’s journey serves as a compelling case study, demonstrating the importance of embracing disruptive innovation and addressing the challenges that come with it. By leveraging the Five Forces analysis, Resource-Based View theory, and disruptive innovation concepts, organizations can navigate the complexities of the competitive landscape and foster sustainable success.


Porter, M. E. (2016). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 74(6), 61-78.
Barney, J. B. (2019). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99-120.
Christensen, C. M., & Raynor, M. E. (2016). The innovator’s solution: Creating and sustaining successful growth. Harvard Business Review Press.
Barney, J. B., & Clark, D. N. (2017). Resource-based theory: Creating and sustaining competitive advantage. Oxford University Press.

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