Cirque Du Soleil's Human Resource Management Practices

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB103
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1985-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Cirque Du Soleil
Industry : Circus Entertainment
Countries : Canada

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Managing Cultural Diversity

Starting with Alegria in 1995, Cirque saw an influx of Chinese, Russian, Asian, French, and English speaking artists and employees. This resulted in vast cultural gaps which made communication difficult between artists and technicians.

It also affected the quality of the show. In an effort to overcome this problem, Cirque's HR team undertook a basic language training program for the performers to close such gaps. There were also many conflicts that arose due to cultural diversity.

For example, the laws regarding sexual harassment were more stringent in the US than in Canada. Kissing to greet friends and co-workers was quite regular in Canada but could be considered a form of sexual harassment in the US and some Asian cultures. In such cases, any complaint from an employee would lead to the company facing legal issues...


Open and unhindered communication within Cirque was like a corporate policy which insiders at Cirque cited as the reason for problems getting addressed and solved so quickly, worldwide. Whenever employees had a problem or an issue they could easily write or talk to their supervisors about it and expect the issue to be addressed...

The Future Beckons

It was important for Cirque to retain artists who were very talented and rare to find. A case in point was the 25-year-old Brazilian dwarf, Alan J. Silva (Silva), who was spotted in Sao Paulo. In the Las Vegas show Zumanity, Silva performed in a role especially created for him. He performed with a female gymnast who was almost 6 feet tall. The problem arose when he had to be replaced for a few days due to a shoulder injury. Although another dwarf was brought in from Brazil to perform the role, it just didn't work out and so Silva's part was removed till he was ready to perform...


Exhibit I: Cirque's 'Crossroads' Program
Exhibit II: Cirque – Online Recruitment Advertisement


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