This paper describes the first phase of an ongoing program of research into theory and practice of IT governance. It conceptually explores existing IT governance literature and reveals diverse definitions of IT governance, that acknowledge its structures, control frameworks and/or processes. The definitions applied within the literature and the nature and breadth of discussion demonstrate a lack of a clear shared understanding of the term IT governance. This lack of clarity has the potential to confuse and possibly impede useful research in the field and limit valid cross-study comparisons of results. Using a content analysis approach, a number of existing diverse definitions are moulded into a ”definitive” definition of IT governance and its usefulness is critically examined. It is hoped that this exercise will heighten awareness of the “broad reach” of the IT governance concept to assist researchers in the development of research projects and more effectively guide practitioners in the overall assessment of IT governance.