Whitney Berta

PhD (Rotman School of Management)
MBA (McGill University)
BSc (University of British Columbia)

Professional Interests

I have a sustained interest in the role of knowledge in organizational performance; that is, how its acquisition, generation, use, non-use, and disuse relates to organizational performance.  In particular, I am interested in why and how and when workers in organizations generate or acquire new knowledge, how they collectively learn about and use new knowledge, and why some organizations are highly effective in applying new knowledge to enhance their performance while others are less adept at doing so.  My work draws from, and aims to contribute to, the literature on organizational learning and knowledge transfer originating in the organization and management sciences, and relates to the concept of learning health systems.


A focus on the relationships between organizational learning and performance is particularly germane to health care, where it is within practitioners’, consumers’ and publics’ interests for care-providing organizations to be good learners and high performers.  There is also an interest in realizing the full potential of new knowledge – embedded, for example, in clinical practice guidelines, quality improvement initiatives, new management practices, an organization’s policies, or newly trained professionals. Often, new knowledge of this sort has been generated at considerable cost, with the intent of improving performance in health services organizations. And, frequently in health care, this costly new knowledge is not adopted, or the intended targets (practitioners, managers, organizations) do not have the capacity to implement it, or resultant practice change is not sustained such that the intended health, operational, or societal benefits are only partially or never realized.

Thesis Supervision (2020+)

Tim Rappon. The Sustainment and Sustainability of Quality Improvement Initiatives for the Health Care of Older Adults (2021)

Gillian Parker. Understanding the Drivers of Low-value Care and De-implementation Processes: A Multi-methods Study (2021)

Sobia Khan. Inter-organizational Relationships in British Columbia’s Community Overdose Response: Evaluating Community Partnerships as a Network Intervention (2021)

Ashley Vandermorris. Intersectoral Youth Policies and Adolescent Health System Transformation: A Multiple Case Study (2020)