Cirque Du Soleil Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Summary of Background and Facts

Cirque Du Soleil started its operations in 1984 by a group of street performers outside Quebec City in Canada. The circus group started performing with total number of 73 artists. This number gradually increased and reached a total number of 2,100 employees while it has 500 artists. The circus has been operating in four continents. The number of audience that the company serves has been around 90 million spectators. Cirque Du Soleil included the clowns, street perfumers, gymnasts, acrobats and the dance drams.

Cirque Du Soleil expanded rapidly during the early 1990s and further expanded in 2000s where it went on to perform in more than 270 cities and all continents. The show has around 4000 employees from over 40 countries while it has generated total sales of revenue exceeding $810 million. Cirque Du Soleil has been a part of various other businesses where it has diversified itself into commercial activities, which included projects and merchandising. Along with this, Cirque Du Soleil in 1999 released its feature film by the name “Algeria”. Along with this, Cirque Du Soleil created and introduced film introduction, which was distributed by Sony Pictures. The company also opened its first complex, which was established to serve as the laboratory for Cirque Du Soleil.

Statement of Core Problem

The core problem identified in the case Cirque Du Soleil is to retain the talented employees within the company. As the company was solely dependent upon the creativity and originality of its artists, hence, Cirque Du Soleil wanted to manage a circus that was full of creative artists and employees that were the main source of success for the organization. Therefore, the management is keen to develop a strategy that can attract better talent and more business simultaneously.

Secondary Problem

Cirque Du Soleil was amongst one of the most profitable companies headquartered in Canada where it was making quite reasonable revenues across the globe. Secondary problems that were present at Cirque Du Soleil were the increasing prices of tickets, which reduced the number of audiences. Along with this, Cirque Du Soleil had to come up with new ideas and different tricks so as to stay a competitive force in the circus industry. Some employees in the company felt that they were not getting enough facilities and benefits, which could justify their stay within the Cirque Du Soleil.

As the case states, artists were tired of traveling throughout the year and were demotivated because of the fact that they had to travel and stay away from their families. Gagnon and Gautier tried to decentralize the organizational structure, which back-fired for the company and it was once again reverted back by being headquartered in Quebec Canada. Along with this, the cultural differences among the artists from various parts of the world created language barrier as well. People representing different cultures and different heritage were a cause of concern because the management had to deal with them accordingly (Collings, 2009).

Another issue which Cirque Du Soleil encountered was the fact that the Canadian lifestyle was entirely different to the artists coming from other parts of the world, which included the food preferences and the climatic changes. This was also a cause of concern for these artists because they felt that they were being treated unfairly in the new country. As the case states, young children were also a part of the Cirque Du Soleil that was a problem because Cirque Du Soleil’s management had to deal with them in a different way and in fact motivate them and look after their needs. These were the secondary issues at Cirque Du Soleil.


To overcome the major issues at Cirque Du Soleil, Murielle Cantin wanted to actually find the solution to retain best employees and artist within Cirque Du Soleil. Along with this, she was concerned about how she could hire 100 artists every year. The company needs to identify how they can grow and expand along with keeping the staff fresh and motivated. The proposed solution for Cantin based on the problems identified in the case is as follows:

Growth Prospects:

As the case states, Cirque Du Soleil was facing the major issue of retaining best artists. Artists were leaving the Cirque Du Soleil for better opportunities and were getting frustrated with the job description and tough working conditions. To overcome this issue, Cirque Du Soleil needs to develop a plan where artists can be promoted to better positions based on the leadership skills and seniority at the organization (Snell, 2010)............................

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