The Purpose Of This SWOT Analysis For Netflix

Background on Netflix

“Netflix has been leading the way for digital content since 1997” (, 2018)

Netflix is currently the world’s leader in the realm of internet entertainment. Netflix has a whopping 125 million memberships in over 190 countries; members enjoy entertainment such as original content as well as an array of television series, documentaries feature films that are made available in multiple languages and genres. With the convenience of the internet members can stream and even download commercial free content straight on to their internet capable devices with a click of a button. Although Netflix has many reasons to boast of their many successes and achievements in the field of entertainment, executives must also be mindful of possible weaknesses and threats to their organization that man potentially disrupt or even halt future success.

The purpose of this SWOT analysis for Netflix

The purpose of this SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is to obtain a snapshot of Netflix’s current internal conditions and functions and external forces that the organization faces in the years to come. This analysis will also help better identify each of the four above mentioned SWOT component so that they can be utilized during a strategic planning phase that can aid the organization to develop strategies that will address and mitigate any potential issues or threats.

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The importance of strategic planning

According to the article The Advantages of SWOT Analysis in a Strategic Plan, Neil Kokemuller states that “A SWOT analysis is an integral part of a company’s strategic planning process because it provides a good all-around view of the company’s current and forward-looking situation”. In short, the SWOT analysis is important to organization’s Strategic planning as it connects strategies and objectives to the role and duties it’s the workforce.

SWOT Analysis for Netflix

The Strengths

Netflix has many strengths one strength in particular is as it stands Netflix currently possesses a well-defined strategic plan. Employees are made aware that their role is within their given department and as it related to the organization as a whole. Managers coach employees on an ongoing basis in an effort to instill the organization’s core values as well as remind employees of their role/duties; this is important to Netflix as the organization currently does not perform traditional performance appraisals.

Netflix’s Human Resources Department is heavily involved in the strategic planning process. From the very beginning the HR department is made aware of company set goals as well as duties and expectations for employees; with this HR has the ability to aid to mold and shape the company’s culture that makes achieving these goals possible. In the article Human Resource Planning: Objectives, Need, Importance and Levels, the writer S. Chand states that “HR needs a seat at the executive table”, but what does this mean exactly? Well, the idea is simple in order for the HR team to be able to deliver skilled candidates with desired competencies, offer sufficient training and development to employees, and steer organizational policies and management campaigns the HR department must be part of the strategic planning process from day one; then and only then can the HR manager understand and assess the needs of the organization and develop these much-needed areas efficiently and effectively.

Based on Darwish’s Table 2.1 it is evident that Netflix utilizes Strategic HRM in their business strategy. Micro or traditional HR setting within an organization the role of HR was to recruitment skilled employees, payroll processes and employee benefits. In addition to this traditional HR departments also handled employee training and development as well as the development and regulation of policies and labor laws. Netflix operates its organization in a macro/ Strategic HRM setting along with the necessary departments and managers to develop a strategic process for which the organization follows.

Since Netflix operates with a Strategic HRM the organization shares with executives the importance of HRM within the strategic planning process. SHRM is important to Netflix as it is utilized in the recruiting of and hiring processes of the desired skilled candidate. Strategic HRM is important as the HRM has the knowledge and understand of the organization’s goals, direction, and of what skill/ competencies are important to the workforce. In order for any of this to be accomplished the HRM must be part of the strategic process from conception.

Another strength Netflix possesses is their gender diverse organization. According to’s diversity page, Women make up 42 percent of the workforce. In addition, leadership at Netflix in made up of 42 percent women. Women also make up 42 percent of the workforce in departments such as Creative and corporate functions. In the IT department women make up 27 percent of that workforce.

Netflix practices trusting management or honor code for employees Netflix employees manage their own employee expense accounts (within reason for purchases) and are even given free lunches and snacks of their choosing. Netflix’s expense policy is “ACT in Netflix’s best interest”. According to the How Netflix reinvented HR, Sheryl Sanberg former Chief Talent offer Netflix states “expenses accounts are another area where if you create a clear expectation or responsible behavior, most employees will comply. In addition to lax expense account management, there are “Unlimited vacation days for salaried employees” (McCord, Patty, Pg 6).

The Weaknesses

As mentioned above the HR department is heavily involved in Netflix strategic process however, there is no mention of lower level supervisors or managers in this process. Lack of key employee involvement in strategic planning process can certainly harm the organization. Managers and Supervisors who work in the forefront with lower level employees can offer invaluable input as to what is working and what isn’t as well in terms of the needs and changing skill sets of these employees. A hurtle Netflix is also facing is finding skilled candidate to preform specialized work (engineering). According to Sandberg “If we only wanted “A” players on our team, we had to be willing to let go of people whose skills no longer fit” McCord, Patty, Pg. 5). While this does give Netflix an advantage as the will remain with only skilled employees their workforce overtime has and will continue to diminish. This issue must be addressed in the future to avoid lack of skilled workers in the future.

Netflix also eliminated formal employee performance reviews. I believe this is a weakness as this can result in lack of employee accountability and confusion on what may or may not be expected of employees. Effectively executed performance reviews allow managers and supervisor the opportunity to share with employees what is expected, what their goals are how they can achieve the set goals, and training and coaching to lead them towards success.

The Opportunities

An opportunity Netflix can take advantage of when it comes to strategic planning is to focus on the competencies and skills necessary to achieve organizational goals, thus increasing productivity and make for a more efficient and effective workforce. Knowing the competencies and skills necessary will aid in the recruiting and staffing process needed to make Netflix a continued success well into the future; with the skilled and competent employees to support it.

In addition, Netflix should consider diversifying their work force. While over 40 percent of employees are female, less than 20 percent of the workforce is Minority or non-white. This can certainly prove to become an issue with possible discrimination lawsuits. According to Mimi Colin’s Recruiting for Diversity–Best Practices for Building Relationships with HBCUs “To improve the outcomes of their diversity recruitment efforts, many organizations work to build ties with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, and other institutions with significantly minority populations”. I feel recruiting from these university and institutions Netflix will have an increased opportunity to find skilled candidates from different ethnic backgrounds. Diversity in the workforce is useful as diversity allows individuals to share their experiences, point of views, and beliefs that they have with others that maybe others wouldn’t have heard them in the first place.

The Threats

There are many external threats that the Netflix organization faces. One threat in particular is the threat of competitors offering higher pay and more desirable benefits. Employee turnover can increase due to better opportunities elsewhere. It is important for the organization to remain competitive with regard to compensation and benefits if they plan to not onlt retain their current workforce but, to also recruit and hire future employees as well.

Due to Netflix’s ever evolving organization from DVD’s to streaming Netflix must constantly innovate new and improved methods of delivering entertainment and creating content for members. In order for such painstaking work to be achieved takes skilled and competent staffers. Netflix Faces the threat of possibly not having skilled employees to recruit and aging staff that may not grow with the times; or may not have the skills necessary for the organization to remain competitive.

GMO’s And World Hunger

As the world begins to feel the constraints of overpopulation and diminishing resources, the rate at which people are affected by chronic world hunger continues to grow exponentially (Geldof). Record climate change brought about by global warming and an increase in greenhouse emissions has increased the longevity of droughts, causing the desert to spread, and what small area of forest we have to left to soon run out (Gerry). According to research conducted at Harvard, the world population is estimated to “reach 11 billion by 2100,” meanwhile we currently struggle to feed the “800 million people [who] remain undernourished despite the fact that the current output of the world’s farms could supple over 11 billion people” (Gerry). Our world is facing a food crisis that will only continue to grow and expand in complexity if action isn’t taken to combat it as soon as possible. Although doctors argue that genetically modified foods are detrimental to our health, and therefore should be outlawed, genetically modified foods can help to alleviate chronic world hunger by catering to the impoverished demographic and limiting environmental degradation by conserving resources for future generations, as well as producing higher yields that are completely safe for human consumption (“Food from Genetically…”).

The most substantial contributor to the increase in world hunger seen globally is poverty. Poverty and malnourishment are directly linked to unsettlement and rioting in impoverished regions of the world. Food scarcity that could be limited using modified crops can be directly linked to migration, mass displacement and conflict, a trend that is stronger than it might seem to those who aren’t experiencing constant hunger (Geldof). One example of conflict caused by food scarcity is the Tunisian bread riots of 2010, where an increase in wheat prices “led to widespread bread riots that morphed into broader political revolutions” (Geldof). The bread riots in Tunisia caused a “massive wave of refugees” that had to emigrate to other regions where they yet again faced food scarcity (Geldof). Producing genetically modified foods has the potential to help reduce chronic world hunger that is a major threat to the safety and lives of everyone from a non-health standpoint because “where hunger persists, instability grows” (“Food Assistance”). By supporting the effort to make genetically modified foods accessible to the most vulnerable, “ a more stable world [is] ensur[ed] for people [to] have the opportunity to lead healthy [and] productive lives” (“Food Assistance”). If food we made was more easily accessible to the world’s most malnourished and deprived people, there can be a “positive impact on social cohesion and improved capacities for peace” (“Food Assistance”).

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What can genetically modified foods do to help those who cannot afford the most basic necessities? Genetically modified crops have the incredible ability to yield more compared to the regular crop, all while using a smaller amount of land, which helps with the diminishing swatch of land that can actually be used for agriculture (Gerry). For example, in Pisa, Italy, 76 studies were conducted by researchers of Scientific Reports which found that “genetically engineered corn had a significantly higher yield than non-genetically modified varieties” (Brody). Similarly, studies conducted by UC Berkeley’s David Zilberman showed that farmers in “China, Argentina and India saw yield gains from a quarter to more than a third higher when they used insect-resistant genetically engineered BT [Bacillus thuringiensis gene] cotton” (Finz). This cotton is modified by the insertion of a gene from a common soil bacterium which regular farmers have been spraying on crops for years as a repellent (Finz). Through the incorporation of an insect repellent infused into the plant, the expense of the fertilizer is decreased, therefore cutting down the net price of the crop. Scientists have also figured out how to put the same ‘BT’ gene into corn, which yielded 34% more in the Philippines and 11% in South Africa” (Finz). Without the help of genetically modified crops, the price of food would be “5 to 10 percent higher than it is now- particularly for meat, poultry, eggs, milk and processed foods” (Finz). By simply cutting down the prices of foods through genetically engineered products, food can become more easily available to food-insecure families.

In addition to bioengineered crops being able to produce a higher yield, genetically modified crops have a positive environmental impact in that they are able to slow down the rate of environmental degradation, which is more important than ever (“Food from Genetically…). This is due to the fact that they use less fertilizer and water than the average non-genetically modified crop, which would help to decrease the rate at which our resources are diminishing, helping to preserve our world for future generations. Fertilizers are a threat to our life right here on Long Island. Just as how your neighbor fertilizes their lawn in order to grow a beautiful, green lawn, that same fertilizer has the ability to grow enormous amounts of algae, present in the form of algae blooms, in our marine ecosystems (“Long Island…”). Nitrates from fertilizers threatens the “aquifers that contain our drinking water, contributes to fish kills, degrades marine habitats,” and “damages the coastal marshes that provide a natural protective buffer during storm[s]” (“Long Island…”). The nutrient pollution that is occuring right on Long Island is occurring on a greater scale worldwide because as fertilizer tolerance continues to build, and more fertilizers of more dangerous calibers are being used, the problem will only continue to be exacerbated (Finz). The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has already invested millions of dollars to help combat nutrient pollution; if we would have invested the same amount on GMO technology, the issues of hunger and environmental protection could’ve had the same solution, and less funding would have had to been used (“Long Island…”).

Another advantage of genetically modified crops is that they can be “programmed” to perform the same function as fertilizers and pesticides so that less nutrient pollution will occur in our environment. According to the Food and Drug Administration, genetically engineered plants have “greater resistance to insect damage and immunity to plant diseases” (“Food from Genetically…”). If we consistently engineered our food to be drought-resistant, insect-resistant, and disease-resistant, we would be resistant to high food prices because cutting out expensive pesticides and fertilizers would decrease food prices while simultaneously increasing food health and accessibility. Resistant foods would also be necessary in the coming years as climate change will force us to increase our agricultural productivity in areas we wouldn’t normally rely on, such as “tropical areas where crop yields are significantly lower than in temperate climate zones” (Herrera-Estrella and Álvarez-Morales). These tropic zones would see more dramatic effects of the environment on their crops like more “losses due to pests, more hostil[e] plant disease and poor soils” which are all “exacerbated by climatic conditions” that are favored by the “proliferation of insect pests and disease vectors” (Herrera-Estrella and Álvarez-Morales). In layman’s terms, global warming continues to worsen, we can only expect to see a worsening of temperature and weather extremes, creating a toxic cycle that would need a major resolution like genetically modified crops to halt. At this time, the only way to combat hunger in Third World countries is to increase the use of fertilizers and pesticides, creating another toxic cycle, which is certainly not more beneficial to the environment compared to genetically modified crops (Gerry). At the University of Virginia, economists Federico Ciliberto, Edward Perry, and David Hennessy led the largest study ever that measured the environmental impact quotient (Newman). The environmental impact quotient is a rate that “account[s] for chemicals’ impact on farmworkers, consumers and the environment,” which in their study found little to no change between those who adopted genetically modified crops and those that didn’t” (Newman). Genetically modified food products generally have less of a negative environmental impact than their non-genetically modified food counterparts.

Nearly a million children across the globe “die every year because they are weakened by Vitamin A deficiencies and an additional 350,000 go blind” because of malnourishment, a problem that could be alleviated by the addition of Gold Rice, a crop that is genetically modified to be more nutrient-rich than natural rice (Robbins). Genetic modification is limited because the people that aren’t directly affected by world hunger-those who can afford to have 2-3 meals a day-don’t look at it from the economic perspective, but rather from a nutritional standpoint, where they don’t understand that “25 percent of new medicine today has been genetically altered,” and that they are ingesting these genetically modified products anyway (Finz). This is linked to the idea that “idealism is elitism” (Finz). Those that ideally want to help end the food crisis plaguing the earth’s population know that genetically engineered foods could be the solution, but those who oppose, do so to protect the foods they consume for their “diets” and “health fads,” even though the Third World is starving (Gerry). Meaning, those that have the economic support to proliferate genetic technology don’t fund these projects because food vulnerability isn’t at the forefront of their lifestyles (Gerry).

Many people do not believe that the life-saving GM foods have the ability to save the million children that die every year and the “additional 350,000 that go blind,” but instead believe that genetically modified foods are inherently harmful to humans (Robbins). One major fear of GM crops is that they have the “possibility that [an] insertion of one or a few genes could have a negative impact on other desirable genes naturally present in the crop” (Brody). From this phenomenon, a small percentage of agricultural scientists, around 10% to be exact, believe that the increase in soy allergies over the past 10 years, the epidemic of Morgellons disease across the U.S., as well as the reports of “hundreds of villagers and cotton handlers who developed skin allergy in India” is all linked to the development of genetically modified foods and crops (Maghari and Ardekani). Perhaps this negative attitude towards GM foods is because “propaganda” from non-governmental groups shown through “irresponsible journalism,” has led to a “serious deterioration of public confidence in scientists and governmental regulation institutions,” thereby inducing the propagation of false information of GM foods as the solution to chronic world hunger and environmental degradation (Herrera-Estrella and Álvarez-Morales).

Despite this reluctance to accept genetically modified foods as a solution, genetically engineered foods could bring relief to people worldwide that are struggling with food scarcity and become another pathway in which chronic world hunger can end (Geldof). If only the plurality of the world’s privileged population knew that instead of genetically modified foods being detrimental to our health, genetically modified foods are actually the most tested foods by government agencies than any other previous agricultural advance and is declared safe by the American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and The World Health Organization (Brody). In fact, people have been consuming genetically modified foods produced through selective breeding programs for centuries that “result in large and largely uncontrolled exchanges of genetic material,” in addition to “radiation and chemicals [used] to induce gene mutations” (Brody). Genetic modification isn’t a new practice, but people fear the “new age” technology being used, even though its practices are more controlled and safe for human consumption than ever before. More importantly, scientists on both sides of the argument of whether genetically modified foods are inherently dangerous can agree on one thing: “there is no conclusive evidence that eating genetically modified foods is directly harmful to human health” (Finz). The Food and Drug Administration maintains the statement that “credible evidence has demonstrated that foods from GE [genetically engineered] plant varieties marketed to date are as safe as comparable non-GE foods” and that they “regulate GE crops in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency” (“Food from Genetically…” ). Instead of condemning and preventing GM technology from reaching the entire world, we should be finding ways to ensure that “the knowledge is transferred to developing countries” (Herrera-Estrella and Álvarez-Morales). The fact that the scientific community already supports the view that GM crops are to only be released after it is confirmed they are safe for human consumption further displays the careful steps being taken to ensure human health, which should help to alleviate fear associated with new agricultural technology.

The United Nation estimates that by the year 2050, the world population will have hit 9.3 billion people, about 400 million more than previously estimated, meaning that in order to prevent food scarcity and rioting like what was seen in the Tunisia bread uprisings in 2010, more food is needed for the majority of people who need it the most and are in the most vulnerable positions for malnourishment (Herrera-Estrella and Álvarez-Morales). We are the first generation that will destroy our world at this fast of a rate, yet will we only become concerned when the wealthy are facing food insecurity? Ultimately, “ ‘the world has a surplus of food, but people still go hungry… because they cannot afford to buy it’ “ (Robbins). We need a new approach to feed our world and keeping our environment protected against our own destruction. We need a “food revolution” in which genetically modified foods are utilized to feed the masses and limit the environmental catastrophe occuring by lowering emissions otherwise seen in non-genetically modified crops.             

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