Cirque Du Soleil

?A state of mind?

Sunday 5 June 2011, by Denise Edwards, Eloi Domingo, Gisela Ginovart, Pau Serrat

4 inspired

We have choose Cirque du Soleil because is a company that ?makes us dream? through their performances creating magic environments that involves us in this magic world. This originality of making business has caught our attention to analyse its main aspects.

a)The main facts about the activities of the company

Cirque du Soleil is a company which was launched in 1984 in order to give response to Quebec?s citizens who wanted to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier?s discovery of Canada. The founder was Guy Lalibert? who had been part of a theatre troupe from Baie-Saint-Paul, a village located at east of Quebec City.
The main goal of the company is to ? invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world.? On the other hand, their core activity is to create live shows and present them under big tops or in theatres so as to make people dream through its high quality shows using the creativity and talent of its employees as its best tool. Apart from that, Cirque du Soleil has been developing business initiatives based on its shows. The first one is the creation of original and innovative content for movie theatre, television and DVD. The second one is the organization of private gathering and public events like Expo Zaragoza 2008. The last one is the merchandising of products related with its shows.

The company has had an imporant internationalization and nowadays it performs around the world being successful wherever they go, a proof of that is that approximately fifteen million people will see its shows in 2011. Moreover there are employees within the company from fifty nationalities who speak twenty five different languages so that it gives a multicultural dimension to the business and also a better understanding of the world. It is not by chance, it is because in this way, public feel closer to the company and the company can get more feedback easily from people and this is one of its aims. However, the firm is not only based on making profits, by contrast the company takes into account deeply its social responsibility; people who work on the project believe that a combination of art, business and social initiative can help to construct a better world. That is why Cirque du Soleil is involved in global issues like the fight against poverty in nearly eighty communities, in over twenty countries on five continents.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

Although Cirque du Soleil is really involved in social responsibility, it has to deal with some ethical challenges that can result in a bad image of its ethical performance.
One of the ethical issues this company is facing and was facing was a discriminatory lawsuit with one of the performers in the circus who tested HIV positive and who was laid off due to the fact of the dangers of the job performing (high risk of injury) and possibly infecting others while on the job. Cirque had other performers who were also HIV positive but they stated that in the case of this performer, the stakes were too high to take a risk. The performers filed suit against Cirque for discrimination while Cirque defended that it was a safety issue. Cirque stayed with its plea that it was a safety issues but settled with the performer to implement a companywide training on discrimination a specials training program for HIV positive employees.
Another ethical issue the company is addressing is the HR practices. The performers of the circus are one of the most important parts of the show and due to the fact that performers don not have a steady job in entertainment, they can be here today and gone by the next tour. So therefore, Cirque du Soleil has implemented a ?coaching system? for which they help these performers follow their dreams after they are done with their tours. Cirque focuses on these performers? talents by videotaping their everyday lives so other people can also follow their experience and coaching them in the right path that they have to follow to pursue their dreams. In this way, they help these performers post-Cirque future.
Also, due to the fact that Cirque du Soleil is in all parts of the countries, it is hard to have a centralized management system due to the fact that every country has its own rules and legislation. Therefore, Cirque du Soleil has decentralized its management system which every country has its own rules and regulations. They have 3 headquarters in the world (Amsterdam, Montreal and Las Vegas) which handles the overall HR activities. In this way, Cirque does have a centralized system for the HR activities for all employees involved, but it depends on the country in which these performers are in, which HR legislation rules will and should be followed.
Therefore, Cirque du soleil is facing this ethical challenges in order to maintain its positive brand image.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

We feel that Le Cirque du Soleil it’s a really ethical company because there are many aspects that demonstrate it. As we have seen it is not only a profitable circus offering high quality performances that makes us dream, it is considering ethical aspects because it truly believes in the possibility of making a better world. In order to achieve its purpose, inspite of making any cash, merchandise or sponsorship donations, it has created several ehtical projects that are considered as a step forward to a change in making business. Every year, an amount equivalent to 1% of Cirque du Soleil earnings is given various cultural and social action programs managed by Cirque, as well as to the One Drop Foundation. These projects can be divided in three parts depending on the actions.
1. Community
In this part, Cirque du Soleil has established several projects for the society. One of the main purposes is to encourage and promote the potential of young people that is living in bad situations of marginality and exclusion. Therefore, it has created different actions for assisting and integrating them in the society like a cirque?s creative complex in Montreal, a citizenship action tour and social circus. In that way Cirque du Soleil offer the opportunity to young marginalized people to develop a sense of belonging, freedom, creativity, perseverance and discipline.
2. Environment
Cirque du Soleil has adopted a proactive environmental policy based on sustainable development in order to communicate its commitment to the environment. Its environmental policy is addressed to deal with air quality and climate change, waste management and hazardous waste disposal and water management. In the last aspect, the founder of the Le Cirque du Solei, Guy Lalibert?, has his own foundation called ONE DROP.
3. Business partners and suppliers
Its aim is to establish a continuous dialogue with its business partners and suppliers to ensure that they share our fundamental values, and that together we can achieve profitable and socially responsible results. In that sense, the company has established a ?responsible procurement principles for suppliers? so as to ensure that the merchandise that is sold has been manufactured respecting people and the environment.
4. Workplace
The work environment has a great influence on employees’ quality of life, family lives and health, and that is why Cirque du Soleil seeks to establish an open, secure, creative and welcoming setting for its employees. In that way the company provides good work conditions by no discrimination, good salary packets, respecting the individual opinions and recognizing the work of the individual.
In conclusion, we really trust on Cirque?s du Soleil ethical projects because its global citizenship principles are based on the conviction that arts, business and social initiatives can, together, contribute to making a better world. Moreover, it participates in networks such as BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) and BITC (Business in the Community), that embraces several large companies which have the common goal and desire to encourage social responsibility and create a new relationship between business and the community.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

We believe that one of the most important challenges that Cirque du Soleil has to face is to be loyal to its global citizenship principles which are based on establishing arts, business and social initiatives that can contribute to making a better world. Apart from that, Cirque du Soleil has to face the challenge of continuing with international expansion while offering its creators the freedom to dream the wildest dreams and make them come true as well as maintaining its social programs. Moreover, it has to take into account economic crisis. The actual crisis situation that is present worldwide can result in two different consequences. The first one would be a drop of revenues because circus spectacles can be seen as a luxury good that is only affordable as an extra. In this case, Cirque du Soleil will have to create new strategies to deal with the problems like modifying ticket?s prices, offering special packs with discounts or other aspects that enable people to keep going to the circus but ensuring the same high quality performances.
The second one is that in crisis times people wants to forget all their problems and in that sense, Cirque du Soleil can provide them the possibility to dream and to be involved in a magic world in where problems are not present for a while. In this case, it will maintain the profits that will enable it to innovate in the creation of new performances, offering the best quality and having the possibility to increase its socials projects. Therefore, depending on the consequences of the economic crisis Cirque du Soleil will be required to establish one strategy or another one but without forgetting its main core competences: ?make people dream? and be social responsible in contributing to a better world.
In conclusion, we think that cirque du Soleil can face the possible challenges of the future by being innovative and creative and by maintaining its acknowledgement of ethical perspective and reaffirming its ethical brand?s values and its positive image. We believe that if they keep working as today?s they will be able to overcome all the difficult situations that may appear in the future because it has several competitive advantages that differentiate it from its competitors: the talent of its workers; the creativity, originality and high quality of its shows and its social responsible conviction.


Start a new discussion

3 Discussions / 4 Messages

  • Cirque Du Soleil 27 February 2013 at 23:12 , by chals

    That inspires me to this company are their values​​, already their workers are the main actors and representing these values​​. The values ​​for me are "continuous effort that can reach planned targets and other".

    Whether I like about this company is that no workers could not do anything and so the care and let them investigate new show for that to surprise their customers.

    I also like the philosophy that all are important, give the 5 minute leaving the show as the protagonist, because without them could not be done.

    To finish, another of its great values ​​is that all employees are like one big family, so all are respected.

    • Cirque Du Soleil 28 February 2013 at 19:18 , by musefanever13

      Undoubtedly what inspires me most about this company is its value proposition. I mean, the opportunity to live a unique experience in the world of entertainment, specifically in the circus. In my opinion, I think people today are satisfied by products and services that are different. I mean, it’s really inspiring being able to offer a unique experience to people developing it as a business.
      In other words, the simple fact of being able to make money by offering people something unique and responsible and that these people will love what you do is motivating.

      Just two things that define these two concepts are innovation and values​​.
      On the one hand we have the innovation. Not only Cirque du Soleil offers such different performances each year. But also this circus has successfully reinvented the circus. I mean, Cirque du Soleil has invented a new industry that combine elements from traditional circus with elements drawn from sophisticated theater. Definitely, Cirque du Soleil has challenged the assumptions of the industry (between traditional circus and this one) and thats remarkable.
      On the other hand, another thing that inspires me to this company is the values. There is a constant effort and common respect among all workers because they are the main actors and represent these values​​. Basically all workers are like a big family, so all are respected.

  • Cirque Du Soleil 1 March 2013 at 00:04 , by charlio

    Cirque du soleil inspired me the magic of the circus. The spectacle that manage to convey to the public is unique in the world and therefore have come to stand for any conventional circus.

    I think the team unity is the basis of the project, the actors are the main protagonists of the show but innovation is creating unique directors. For the same reason I think they have been so successful around the world, the combination of these elements that make this company an example in showbiz. The circus was created in 1984 and managed to reinvent adapting to changing times, with a bit of every culture, thanks to the wide variety of countries who are all employees of the circus.

    Maybe their services are focused on a more adult audience, but neither is excluded young audiences. And is that Cirque du Soleil has managed like any audience who likes fun, art and fantasy.

    Finally I think they have some incredible values ​​to entertain, amuse, innovate and above dream.

    Carlos A

  • Cirque Du Soleil 5 March 2013 at 22:13 , by Ana Castro

    Have you had the chance to see the Cirque du Soleil? This year I have had the opportunity to go to one of its functions, and it’s really amazing what they are capable of doing!

    First of all, I think that the merit of this company lies in the ability to offer a different concept to the established circus, known as the “noveau cirque”, in which the animals are left behind and the leading role focuses on people, showing a great capacity to reinvent, to innovate.

    They have been able to create a show full of magic and emotions through their performances such as acrobatics or juggling, thanks to the courage and efforts of all members of the company. Furthermore, as mentioned in the study, they have workers from all over the world, with different cultures, and despite these differences, they are like a large family.

    So, for all of this I have chosen this company and because it inspires me a great overcome’s power.

Location: Québec (Canada)

Sector: entertainment

Official website:

Key figures:

Number of employees: 4000
Annual revenue: C$ 850 million
Cities of operations: 271

Nbr. visits: 9082

Nbr. inspires: 4