The Principle of Identical Elements introduced by Thorndike and Woodworth (1901) states that the level of training transfer depends on the level of similarity between training and performance environments. In other words, the theory states that there is a positive correlation between the similarities between training and performance environments and the level of training transfer.
For example, in a cross-cultural awareness training arranging role playing games where individuals have to interact with the representatives of various cultural backgrounds in typical working environments would have a positive contribution to the levels of training transfer.
The essence of the Principle of Identical Elements can be explained in a way that “the more elements (i.e., content and procedure) of one situation are identical to the elements of a second situation, the greater the transfer, and thus the easier learning in the second situation” (Tracey and Mandel, 2012, p.44). Al-Araimi (2011) argues that the level of applicability of The Principle of Identical Elements in limited within organisations that have predictable and stable work environment.
Al-Araimi, F. (2011) “Power of Human Resources” Author House
Tracey, D.H. & Mandel, L. (2012) “Lenses on Reading: An Introduction to Theories and Models” Guilford Press