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IT/business alignment has constantly been among the top priorities for IT executives. From a prescriptive, design research perspective, our analysis of related work shows that neither is IT/business alignment sufficiently specified to allow systematic artifact construction, nor are existing approaches situational to reflect the diversity of IT/business alignment problems in the real world. We use goal decomposition to characterize IT/business alignment by qualities from (i) the IT systems, (ii) the business, and (iii) the IT governance perspective. A survey-based exploratory study among 174 professionals from various European countries is conducted that helps to identify four distinct IT/business alignment situations. This knowledge can now be used to construct methods and models that do not only operationalize alignment, but also can be adapted to the different situational needs.